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Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Pest Management > Noxious & Invasive Weed Program > Eliminate Target Plants > Survey

Survey and Monitoring of Target Plant Infestations


Surveying for Dalmatian toadflax on steep bankSurveys of the target species reveal the distribution and infestation density. The MDA verifies reports, surveys potentially infested areas and delineates infestations. Handheld GPS units are used to mark infestation points. These data are entered and available on the web at EDDMapS, a national database.

Multi-agency and volunteer surveys are organized to determine the extent of many target plant infestations. Collaborators include the Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota Extension, Conservation Corps Minnesota, St. Croix River Association, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, and many local partners.

The MDA also conducts follow-up surveys at sites that have been treated. These surveys help determine the efficacy of treatments and estimate the containment, reduction, and extent of the infestations.

In Phase 2 of the ETIPS project, the U of M Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Lab will test its drone fleet with the goal of increasing survey efficiency. Tests will determine best available sensor, concept of operations, and post processing requirements. The team is working with the Federal Aviation Administration on regulatory requirements for flying the UAV.

Infestations of target plants and noxious weeds on the eradicate list are available at the interactive, online Noxious Weed Eradicate List Map.

ETIPS Phase 1 Survey Results Summary

Surveys were conducted throughout the state to map infestations. All reports were uploaded into EDDMapS. In Phase 1, infestations of the five target species were recorded in 17 counties.

  • Eight multiagency and volunteer surveys were conducted, covering 1,542 road miles and 125 river and trail miles.
  • An estimated 80% reduction in rosettes of Grecian foxglove, Dalmatian toadflax, and cutleaf teasel was observed after the 2014 treatments.
  • Treatment of Japanese hops in 2015 reduced infestations by 75 percent.
  • Oriental bittersweet treatments of the most severe infestations in southeast Minnesota have helped contain the invasive plant.