California Department of Fish and Wildlife
collage of various invasive species

Invasive Species Program

What does the Invasive Species Program do?

The mission of the Invasive Species Program is to reduce the negative effects of non-native invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California. We are involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur, and prevent the spread of invasive species that have become established. Our projects address problems with introduced animals and plants, both terrestrial and aquatic. More fundamentally, we try to identify and address the ways by which the species are introduced, typically inadvertently, by human activities. Studies show that preventing introductions is the most effective and cost-efficient way to manage invasive species. We conduct our work in coordination with other government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

What makes a species “invasive,” how they got here, and why they are a problem.

What's new in the Program?

1st Annual California Invasive Species Action Week and Youth Poster Contest!

The California Fish and Wildlife Department’s Invasive Species Program is pleased to announce the establishment of the California Invasive Species Action Week to be held Saturday, August 2 through Sunday, August 10, 2014. The goal of the Action Week is to not only increase public awareness of invasive species issues, but also promote public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources. The Action Week will be filled with invasive species volunteer events and workday opportunities for youth and adults across the state. 

Check the SCHEDULE OF EVENTS to find an event near you.  Watch for updates as the Week begins to fill!

During the Action Week, we will also announce the winners of the 2014 “Race to Protect Your Favorite Place” Youth Poster Contest! The deadline for poster entries has been extended to July 23, so get creative! Visit our Action Week and Poster Contest pages for information and participation details, or to advertise your Action Week events.

Can your facility or program display or help distribute Action Week posters or brochures to help recruit participants, volunteers, or youth poster contestants? Email and tell us how many to send you!

Summer 2014 Eye on Invasives: Taking Action Against Invasive Species

Eye on Invasives is the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's newsletter dedicated to providing information about invasive species in California.

This issue of Eye on Invasives focuses on the upcoming inaugural California Invasive Species Action Week, which runs Saturday, August 2 through Sunday, August 10, 2014. In this issue, we highlight opportunities for public participation including the work by the Mountains Restoration Trust efforts in the Santa Monica Mountains and the several citizen science efforts organized by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Tiburon (Marin County), as well as a list of other activities being held during Action Week. We hope you will join us, and our many partners who make this Action Week possible, in taking action by participating in one or more of the scheduled activities. If you aren't able to participate in a group effort we have also included a couple of actions you can take at home to help battle back populations of invasive species. If you're hungry to learn more, you will enjoy the article on eating invasives and non-natives. And if your summer to-do list includes gardening or landscaping projects, you'll learn how to avoid introducing weeds through the products you may use.

Visit the Eye on Invasives page to read the latest issue (PDF), access past issues, or to subscribe.

New Aquatic Invasive Species Identification Poster!

The Invasive Species Program has developed a new outreach poster to aid in the identification of six invasive species that threaten California’s freshwater environments. View the poster (PDF), or look for it on display in a California Department of Fish and Wildlife office or hatchery.

Would you like a copy of the poster to display? Contact us at to request one.