California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Report an Invasive Species Sighting

Gathering Information

It is helpful to report the sighting of a plant or animal that is a known invader, or that you suspect may be a new invasive species in your area.

Filling out an Invasive Species Sighting Report Form will provide necessary information to the appropriate agencies mentioned below.

If possible, take detailed photographs of the plant or animal. Including something of commonly known size in the photo is helpful for comparison (for example, a coin, eyeglasses, or a camera lens cover). Taking photos of the immediate environment where the sighting occurred and key landmarks for finding the site is also often helpful.

Collecting Specimens

If you wish to collect a specimen to assist with identification, it is important to keep the specimen secure to avoid the spread of the collected species, or any organism that might be attached to it. Please keep a record with the specimen of the location and date that it was collected. The contacts listed below can help with information about the collection and submission of specimens for identification.

  • Plants – Plant specimens should include the stem with intact leaves, and if available, intact flowers and/or fruits. See further instructions for plant specimens.
  • Invertebrates (for example shellfish, worms, or insects) – store in a closed vial or jar with enough rubbing alcohol included to keep the tissue moist.
  • Vertebrates (fish, for example) – seal in a plastic bag and freeze.

Who to Contact

To report a sighting of a known invasive species, or an animal or marine plant that you suspect may be a new invader in your area, complete the Invasive Species Sighting Report form and mail or email the form, preferably with detailed photographs, to the Invasive Species Program at 1416 9th St., 12th floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 or invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

For questions about sightings of a known or potentially invasive animal (non-insect) or marine plant, please contact the Invasive Species Program at (866) 440-9530 or send an e-mail to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

For a known invasive plant, insect, or plant/tree disease, or one that you suspect may be new to your area, filling out the form and taking it along with photographs and/or a specimen to the County Agricultural Commissioner’s office for identification can be very helpful (see above information about collecting plant specimens). See contact list of County Agricultural Commissioners’ offices.