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PlantTracker Team - help us stop the spread of invasive non native species

Invasive non-native plant species are a threat to native wildlife in the UK. Help us track them down using the PlantTracker smart phone app.


Download the app now
Available free from the Apple App Store and Google Play
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Invasive species

The Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum has the responsibility for co-ordinating action on invasive non native species (INNS) in our region. This means working out what species to target and prioritise first for removal or eradication. 

To do this we need to:

  • make a map of where all the invasive species are across the region
  • know how much of it there is in each place

You can help – be a PlantTracker

We’ve already started putting this together, but we only have limited data to work with and some pieces are missing from the jigsaw – that’s where you can help!

Thanks to new mobile phone app called PlantTracker developed by the Environment Agency, CEH, and the Nature Locator Team at the University of Bristol, anyone with an iPhone or Android phone can easily provide information about where these plants are.You might spot them on your commute to work, while walking your dog, or when out fishing – the more you use the app, the better we can plan our work.

What you can do with the app:
  • look up the target species we’re after in the identification guide
  • use the GPS on the phone to let us know where you’ve seen it
  • take a picture of it so it can be verified
  • send all this information to us using wifi or mobile data connection at the press of a button
Don't have a smart phone?

You can still contribute by submitting details directly to the PlantTracker website.  Just take a photograph of the plant, and upload it to the online form, giving brief details about what you have seen and where it was found.

What happens next

The information you send in gets stored on a national database of invasive non native species.  You can see what information has already been collected by visiting the results page on the PlantTracker website.

We then add this information to data collected from other sources and this helps us build up a picture of the distribution of invasive species across Yorkshire. Using this combined information we are able to make decisions on where to spend money or invest volunteer time in controlling or eradicating a particular species.

For example, it makes no sense in spending time removing himalayan balsam along the banks of a river through a particular village if there happens to be more himalayan balsam present at the neighbouring village just upstream – the seeds will eventually reach downstream and undo all your hard work. Of course in reality there are lots of other things to consider too, but you get the idea.