Citizen Science

CDFW’s Invasive Species Program enlists the help of citizen scientists in invasive species monitoring and management. "What are citizen scientists?" you ask. Citizen scientists are concerned/interested members of the public that assist scientists, researchers, and resource managers by conducting surveys, collecting data, and reporting observations.

How can you join the effort? We welcome you to participate in the following efforts:

EDDMapS Mobile App

For the last decade, the Department has taken public sighting reports by telephone, email, and via an online reporting link. Now, launched in conjunction with the 2020 Invasive Species Action week, the Department has an exciting new platform to reach the public and receive invasive species reports!

The Department collaborated with the University of Georgia to develop a smartphone application for the public to use anywhere in California. Yes, there’s an app for that now!

The smartphone app is called “EDDMapS” which is an abbreviation for Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System and will allow invasive species reports to be submitted from your smartphone while outdoors. On the user-friendly app, anyone can report an invasive species sighting, submit photos, provide sighting details, and document a negative survey. EDDMapS is available on both Apple and Android platforms. link opens in new windowDownload from the EDDMapS website.

Quagga/Zebra Mussel Monitoring

Quagga and zebra mussels continue to threaten waterbodies throughout California. While local agencies and CDFW work to monitor many of these waters each year, the more eyes looking improves the chance an infestation would be detected, if they are present.  

To contribute to the statewide effort, read and print the link opens in new tab or windowQuagga Mussel Survey Instructions and Data Sheet (PDF). Select any freshwater waterbody (lakes, streams, rivers, creeks) that you would like to survey and can legally access. Follow the instructions on selecting areas to survey and what data to collect, including geographic coordinates and photographs if possible. Didn't find any quagga or zebra mussels? That's very important information to report to us too! Did you observe other invasive species during your survey? Tell us about those too! When your data sheets are complete submit them to our Online Submission Form.