Welcome to Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force EcoQuest Survey page!!!
Do you love being outdoors and searching for interesting critters and plants in nature? Or maybe you love taking photos when you are out hiking or gardening? Or maybe you just love scavenger hunts! Our EcoQuest surveys allow you to become a part of the action and help us document invasive species in our region while having fun in the process! To become an EcoQuest surveyor, all you need to do is download an easy- to-use mobile app, iNaturalist, and register here for further instructions. Once iNaturalist is downloaded, you can immediately start photographing and uploading pictures, instantly connecting you to thousands of other citizen scientists just like you!
To help you build up your knowledge of invasive species in our region, we offer a monthly challenge which keys in on (a) focal invasive species. Each month, Lower Hudson PRISM staff will announce a new scavenger hunt-style challenge to find and document an invasive plant or animal (and their native counterpart!) by taking and sharing photos via iNaturalist. See below for this July's Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) Challenge! challenge, instructions and other past challenges. While you do not have to join our specific project to participate in the challenge, we HIGHLY encourage you to do so. Search for us, Invasives Strike Force EcoQuest , on iNaturalist and join today to upload your photos directly to our project! Become an official member of our team today!
Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) Challenge! : July 2019
From left to right: Tree-of-heaven, Asian jumping work, European water chestnut. Photo source: https://stoptheinvasionny.com/
July's Ecoquest Challenge will build off a statewide mapping event organized by New York's Online Invasive Species Database and Mapping System, iMapInvasives (iMap). This mapping challenge is one of many events being held state-wide as part of New York State's Invasive Species Awareness Week (July 7-13). Although the specific ISAW challenge involves utilizing the iMap platform, Invasives Strike Force EcoQuest surveyors can continue using iNaturalist as the primary observation photodatabase. Members of the PRISM staff will be responsible for uploading any EcoQuest photos into iMap as the month advances. To access more information on the iMap challenge (and how to join that project) or to learn about the many other events happening statewide during Invasive Species Awareness Week, please visit https://stoptheinvasionny.com/ . Below is a summary of key identification features, ecology and environmental impacts of the three focal species featured in July's EcoQuest and iMap mapping challenges.
Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)