Invasive Species


Invasive species are non-native organisms whose introduction can disrupt the natural ecological balance of ecosystems. They can be terrestrial or aquatic plants, vertebrates, invertebrates or pathogens. Once firmly entrenched, invasive species can cause the extinction of native species, interrupt ecosystem functions, spread disease, impact human health, and cause economic hardship. The spread of invasive species can also be facilitated by climate change.


Invasive species impact Tribes on a multitude of levels from environmental to cultural and every step in between. With the complex conjunction of climate concerns and forest management diversity, invasive species are more at the forefront of conservation considerations. To contribute to this complexity, the absence of dedicated management for the minimization and monitoring of specific invasive species concerns and the lack of or reduced tribal capacity for most tribal programs only compound these concerns.

The spread of invasive species does not halt at tribal boundaries and often tribal utilization and understanding of these species may have been accepted by indigenous communities, especially in aspects of food, medicinal or ceremonial purposes. Despite any acceptance, Tribes do recognize that invasive species can be detrimental to biodiversity. Greatest concerns are to cultural and economic resources for Tribes and evaluation of negative impacts are necessary to determine what actions are needed to address invasive species spread throughout Indian Country.


The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society recognizes the importance of identifying, preventing, and controlling invasive species to protect Tribal natural resources. NAFWS supports Tribes through actions, including:

  • Hired Invasive Species Coordinator and developing an invasive species program.
  • Technical assistance for invasive species management
  • Provide panel discussions and presentation sessions on invasive species, wildlife diseases and impacts to Tribal Lands at national and regional conferences.
  • Active members of the North American Invasive Species Management Association and the USFWS Aquatic Nuisance Species Taskforce

Take our Invasive Species Program Questionnaire to help our IS program staff determine what our next steps should be with outreach.


As part of our commitment to control invasive species and protect Tribal natural resources, we will be hosting a series of webinars pertaining to our program and tactics. As members of NAFWS, you will have these recordings available for your use and resource.

NAFWS Resources

Climate Change Initiative
Wildlife Health Initiative

Additional Resources

Invasive Species Program| USGS
National Invasive Species Information Center | USDA
North American Invasive Species Network
Invasive Species Profiles
Plant Materials Program | USDA APHIS

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In Recognition of Their Support

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society would like to thank those organizations that provided us with support over the years. With them we grew an effective national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.

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