Image credits:
Ankila Hiremath
Mapping Invasive Alien Plants

Species that are introduced from elsewhere are known as alien or exotic species. Some introduced species become invasive, with negative impacts on native biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing. In India we lack systematic information about invasive species distributions that could enable prioritising species (or habitats) to manage. The aim of this project is to map invasive plant distributions and to create greater public awareness about invasive alien species and their potential ecological and socioeconomic impacts.

Year of Initiation:
Project Coordinator:
Reshnu Raj R S
E-mail Address:
Role in the project:
Project Coordinator
Institutional Affiliation:
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
Herbs, Grasses, Shrubs, Vines, Trees
No. of participants:
100 - 500
Geographical spread of project:
Tamil Nadu
Further information:
In this pilot phase we have focused on the Moyar-Bhavani landscape in the Nilgiris and in the Anamalais, in Tamil Nadu's Western Ghats. Going forward we would like to extend the project to the rest of Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states.
Purpose of the project:

This project is an effort to create a participatory atlas of invasive plant distributions. This information could be useful for forest managers and organisations that work to conserve unique habitats and their biodiversity.

Coordinating institution/organisation:
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Keystone Foundation
Location of the coordinating institution/organisation(s):
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India; Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India
Data availability:
Available upon request, without a fee
Participation in language other than English:
Appropriate age groups of participants:
Youth (15 - 21) yrs, Adults (21 yrs and above)
Citizen participation through:
Mobile application
Why should people participate:

Before we can manage invasive species, we need good information about where they occur. Given the widespread occurrence of invasive species, the participation of naturalists, students, community members, and forest managers is key to achieving the task of mapping invasive species and creating an atlas of their distributions.

Prior knowledge or expertise required:

There is no prior experience necessary. All you need is an interest in conservation, a willingness to learn to recognise invasive plants and to use the ODK Collect App.