Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

Identify invasive and non-native species

Early detection of potentially invasive species is a critical first step in effective management and risk evaluation of non-native and invasive species.  Citizens often are the first detectors when out enjoying Minnesota's great outdoors. 

Here are some terms we use to describe different plant and animal species:

Non-native: An organism that is not indigenous to a region (also referred to as exotic).

Invasive: A non-native organism that causes harm to the environment, the economy or human health.

Weed: A plant that is considered undesirable in a particular location or situation. Weeds may be native or non-native.

Finding invasive species

By Land and By Sea: Identification guide to non-native species for Minnesota is a guidebook that includes a list of invasive and non-native species with their key identification traits. Some of these species have become common in parts of Minnesota with expanding ranges, while some are not yet present in the state. For others, better distribution knowledge is needed. 

This is not a complete list of all invasive or non-native species in Minnesota, nor does it include all those that may be a future threat to the state.

The book is for sale through University of Minnesota bookstores. 

Minnesota’s non-native species laws

In Minnesota, invasive and non-native insects, plant diseases and terrestrial plants fall under the regulatory authority of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Invasive and non-native aquatic plants and wild animals are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR).


Invasive and non-native species for Minnesota

Pages are grouped by species type and listed alphabetically. All species are being monitored and should be reported.

Included species are regulated in Minnesota or in neighboring states, or have been reported in native landscapes at increasing rates. If a species is regulated in Minnesota, you’ll find that classification on its species page.

See the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommendations for reporting invasive species.

These lists do not include every species being monitored by MN DNR and MDA.

Page survey

© 2024 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.