NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

FAQ

Who funds the NAS program?
What is the NAS definition of a nonindigenous aquatic species?
What records do you keep and why?
What type of sources are used to gather data for the NAS database?
Is there more data that I can't see?
Can I request a custom query?
How should I cite NAS factsheets/maps/images/data info?
What do the different types of pathways mean?
What is a HUC?
What does "status" mean?
How do I report a sighting/collection of a nonindigenous aquatic species?
Can I send a specimen to the NAS program for identification?
Where can I get Zap the Zebra brochures?


Who funds the NAS program?

When the program began in 1991, we were part of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In 1996, we became part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) where the majority of our funding comes from the agency's USGS Invasive Species Program. USFWS also contributes funding each year.

What is the NAS definition of a nonindigenous aquatic species?

We define nonindigenous aquatic species as a member(s) (i.e. individual, group, or population) of a species that enters a body of water or aquatic ecosystem outside of its historic or native range.

Most of the nonindigenous introductions are a result of human activities since the European colonization of North America. This includes not only species that arrived from outside of North America, which are commonly referred to as exotics, but also species native to North America that have been introduced to drainages outside their native ranges within the country. An example of the former would be the Brown Trout, Salmo trutta, a native of Europe first imported to the United States in 1883 from Germany. An example of the latter would be the Coho Salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, a native to the Pacific coast from northern California to Alaska, which was introduced into the Great Lakes as early as the 1920s.

The importance of studying nonindigenous organisms is to learn what effects they may have on the native organisms and the physical environment.

What records do you keep and why?

We collate and synthesize distribution information from across the country for most aquatic species (freshwater and marine) outside of its native range. Our database contains locality information for more than 1000 species of vertebrates and invertebrates. Our program provides a continual national repository of distribution information for nonindigenous aquatic species that is used to gain an understanding of aquatic introductions, identify geographic gaps, and assess the status of introduced aquatic species nationwide.

What type of sources are used to gather data for the NAS database?

Data are obtained from many sources including literature, museums, databases, monitoring programs, state and federal agencies, professional communications, online reporting forms, and Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) hotline reports.

Is there more data that I can't see?

We display all components of the specimen records for the animal queries, except for people's names and contact information which is hidden for privacy reasons. You can contact us for custom queries if the data are not formatted appropriately for your need.

Can I request a custom query?

Yes, we can do custom queries if the data are not formatted appropriately for your need. Please contact us and let us know what you need and we will be happy to work with you.

How should I cite NAS factsheets/maps/images/data info?

Fact sheets should be cited as follows:
Author, year, species name. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. URL of fact sheet, revision date.

Information derived from data queries should be cited as:
U.S. Geological Survey. year. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. http://nas.er.usgs.gov, date of query.

Other information used from the NAS site should be cited with the author name (if given) or U.S. Geological Survey, year, Species name. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program, Gainesville, FL. Web url of information, date of access.

What do the different types of pathways mean?

Stocked-species was intentionally planted in the new location; i.e., stocked for sport, storage, stock contamination, biocontrol; includes legal and illegal stocking
Shipping-ballast water discharge and/or hull fouling
Aquarium release-species released in the wild by owners who no longer want them; can include escapes from aquaculture especially for locations in Florida since it is often impossible to distinguish between the two pathways in this area
Bait release-species introduced as discarded bait
Aquaculture-species that escaped from aquaculture facilities
Canals-species that gained access to new areas via canals
Pet escape-species that were released by pet owners, used mostly to designate amphibian and reptile escapes

What is a HUC?

Data queries and maps at this website present distributions according to "drainage" in an effort to correlate aquatic species locality data with natural drainage systems as opposed to arbitrary state and county boundaries. We follow a hierarchial drainage classification system developed by the USGS. Referred to as Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC), this system identifies hydrologic regions of the US at four levels. Our maps employ the 2-digit (HUC 2) at the coarsest level, 6-digit (HUC 6) and 8-digit (HUC 8) the finest level. Mapping in this manner indicates recorded presence of a species from at least one location within a designated drainage, but does not necessarily imply occurrence throughout that drainage.

What does "status" mean?

Status represents the reproductive status of the population of a species in that particular location and includes the following categories:

Collected-species was collected or observed from the site; reproduction is not known - this is the default status; many of these are actually established populations
Established-population is reproducing and overwintering
Eradicated-population was eliminated by human activity, i.e., Rotenone
Extirpated-population died out on its own, without human interference, i.e., cold winter
Failed-population was stocked but died out; failed to reproduce
Stocked- species was introduced, as opposed to being caught
Unknown- used when all other categories do not fit

How do I report a sighting/collection of a nonindigenous aquatic species?

To report a sighting you can fill out an online report or call the ANS hotline at 877-STOP-ANS (877-786-7267).

The ANS Hotline is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildfile Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Information about Regional Panels of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force or local, State, and Federal aquatic nuisance species contacts can be found online at: http://anstaskforce.gov

Can I send a specimen to the NAS program for identification?

Please contact us before sending any material for identification. There are federal and state laws and guidelines that must be followed before any specimens can be shipped to us. Digital photos of a specimen can be sent to us for a general identification:
Fish
Mollusks/Crustaceans/Other

Where can I get Zap the Zebra brochures?

Zap the Zebra brochures are available through the 100th Meridian Initiative.


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Take Pride in America logoU.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://nas.er.usgs.gov
Page Contact Information: Pam Fuller - NAS Program (pfuller@usgs.gov)
Page Last Modified: Friday, September 06, 2013

Disclaimer:

The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2014]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [12/20/2014].

Additional information for authors