Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Alaska, United States

Latest version published by Test Organization #1 on Mar 9, 2022 Test Organization #1
Publication date:
9 March 2022
Published by:
Test Organization #1
CC0 1.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 532 records in English (116 KB) - Update frequency: annually
Metadata as an EML file download in English (32 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (28 KB)


Introduced (non-native) species that becomes established may eventually become invasive, so tracking introduced species provides a baseline for effective modeling of species trends and interactions, geospatially and temporally.

The umbrella dataset, called United States Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (US-RIIS), is comprised of three lists, one each for Alaska (AK, with 532 records (this dataset)), Hawaii (HI, with 6,075 records), and the conterminous United States (L48, with 8,656 records). Each list includes introduced (non-native), established (reproducing) taxa that: are, or may become, invasive (harmful) in the locality; are not known to be harmful there; and/or have been used for biological control in the locality.

To be included in the GRIIS-AK, a taxon must be non-native everywhere in the locality and established (reproducing) anywhere in the locality. Native pest species are not included.

Each record has information on taxonomy, dates of introduction (where available; currently for 38%), invasion status (invasive or introduced), and citations for the authoritative sources from which this information is drawn. The umbrella dataset US-RIIS builds on a previous dataset, A Comprehensive List of Non-Native Species Established in Three Major Regions of the U.S.: Version 3.0 (Simpson et al., 2020,

There are 15,264 records in the umbrella list (US-RIIS) and 12,981 unique scientific names. The US-RIIS is derived from 5,951 authoritative sources, was reviewed by or based on input from 30 invasive species scientists, and continues to be updated. Publication of version 2.0 (USGS versioning) of the US-RIIS is anticipated (but not guaranteed) in approximately 12 months.

Many thanks to these additional Reviewers/Contributors: Alexander Salazar, Miami University, Ohio; Alma Solis, Smithsonian Institution; Andrew P. Landsman, National Park Service; Bethany Bradley, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Bruce Cutler, University of Kansas; Cayla Morningstar, USGS-NAS; Chris Taliga, USDA-ARS PLANTS database; Connor Davidson Crouch, Northern Arizona University; Danielle Froelich, SWCA Environmental Consultants; Darrell Ubick, Cal Academy; Faith Campbell, Center for Invasive Species Prevention; Gerry Moore, USDA-ARS PLANTS database; Matt Bowser, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Matt Neilson, USGS-NAS; Michael Gates, USDA-ARS; Nancy Khan, Smithsonian Institution; Rachel Neville, Invasive Species Consultant; Roy Van Driesche, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Shyama Pagad, IUCN Invasive Species Specialists Group; Terry L. Whitworth, Washington State University; Thomas Henry, USDA-ARS; Vickie Brewster, USDA-APHIS; Warren Wagner, Smithsonian Institution. Our sincere apologies to the many contributors whom we may not have mentioned. We appreciate your assistance improving the quality of this dataset.

Data Records

The data in this checklist resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 532 records.

5 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Taxon (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Simpson A Sellers E and Pagad P (2022). Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Alaska, United States. United States Geological Survey. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2022-02-01.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Test Organization #1. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 1d410454-0a4f-4f78-b438-c4f4da3965eb.  Test Organization #1 publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Secretariat.


Checklist; Alaska; United States; United States of America; alien species; database; exotic species; introduced species; invasive species; non-native species; nonindigenous species; species checklist; species list; Aquatic Biology; Botany; Ecology; Environmental Health; Forestry; Wildlife Biology; Wildlfe Disease; non-native; invasive; United States of America; Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species; country_US; country_US-AK; alien species; akriis; checklist; inventory


Annie Simpson
  • Metadata Provider
  • Author
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Biologist and Information Scientist
United States Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr. Mailstop 302
20192 Reston
+1 703 648 4281
Elizabeth Sellers
  • Author
Data Manager
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr. Mailstop 302
20192 Reston
+1 703 648 4385
Shyama Pagad
  • Author
Deputy Chair, Information
IUCN Invasive Species Specialists Group
University of Auckland, School of Biological Sciences
1072 Auckland
+64 210754381

Geographic Coverage

The State of Alaska, United States of America

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.625, -179.648], North East [71.365, -129.375]

Taxonomic Coverage

All taxa are included (except for Bacteria, which have not been documented in AK), from Kingdoms Animalia, Chromista, Fungi, Plantae, Protozoa, and Virus. In the umbrella dataset, there are 12,981 unique scientific names, mostly taxon rank species, but also subspecies, variety, form, and hybrid. There are 532 names in the Alaska (GRIIS-AK) dataset. Two Classes comprise 84% of the GRIIS-AK: Insecta (insects) 71% Magnoliopsida (dicotyledonous plants) and 13% Insecta (insects).

Kingdom Animalia (Animals), Chromista (Chromists), Fungi (Mushrooms), Plantae (Plants), Protozoa (Protists), Virus (Viruses)
Class Magnoliopsida (Dicots), Insecta (Insects)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1775-01-01 / 2020-12-31

Project Data

To be included in the GRIIS-AK, a taxon must be non-native everywhere in the locality and established (reproducing) anywhere in the locality. Native pest species are not included.

Title Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Alaska, United States
Funding The project is funded by the Science and Analytical Synthesis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
Study Area Description Research publications describing the introduced, established species in Alaska.
Design Description All suggestions for additions to the GRIIS-AK will gratefully be received by the authors (and should include an authoritative source reference) at

The personnel involved in the project:

Annie Simpson

Sampling Methods

Methods used to create the integrated dataset have varied somewhat over time. Additional fields have been added from those that were used at the start of the project. Initially, each region (AK, HI, L48) had a lead data searcher and the lists were combined afterwards within one Excel spreadsheet. The interpretation of the content of the citation fields follow the rules established by ITIS and described here: Each lead data searcher was trained in the methods to discern an authoritative source; how to extract scientific names from the source; how to generate from the source and other reference databases such as ITIS all of the information in the spreadsheet columns. There are two spreadsheets to populate, plus a data dictionary sheet. The United States (Contiguous) Checklist dataset shared with GBIF contains these fields: locality - Required; from Darwin Core; value = "Conterminous 48 United States". scientificName - Required; modified from Darwin Core; an accepted species, subspecies, variety, form, or hybrid name, preferably validated in ITIS, or secondarily, in GBIF, or otherwise by another taxonomic authority; Genus names alone are not allowed; does not include scientificNameAuthorship. scientificNameAuthorship - Optional; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority or the reference. vernacularName - Required; from Darwin Core; generally provided by ITIS, the authority, or another reliable source; may be a very generic term where specific common names are not in use. taxonRank - Required; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority or derived by data searcher. establishmentMeans - Required; from Darwin Core; controlled vocabulary: introduced (alien, exotic, non-native, nonindigenous), introduced: assisted colonization, native (indigenous), native: reintroduced, uncertain (unknown, cryptogenic), vagrant (casual). degreeOfEstablishment - Required; from Darwin Core; an assertion provided by or derived from the authority describing the established or invasive status of the taxa within the region; controlled vocabulary (smaller for this dataset than from Darwin Core, due to the nature of the dataset): established (category C3), meaning reproducing in the locality; invasive (category D2), meaning causing, or likely to cause, harm; widespread invasive (category E), meaning at least locally abundant and harmful ecologically, economically, or to health. occurrenceStatus - Required; from Darwin Core; value = "present". associatedTaxa - Optional; from Darwin Core; only contains content if a biocontrol species. Consists of "biocontrol for: " followed by a text description of the name of the organism(s) that the species was introduced to control. eventRemarks - Optional; from Darwin Core; consists of "approx. date of introduction: " and a date or text string describing when the taxon is believed to have been introduced to the locality. Also includes brief (Author (YYYY)) value if the associatedReferences authority is not the authority providing the date of introduction. taxonRemarks - Optional; from Darwin Core; only included if the scientific name has many synonyms or misspellings, or, if the name provided by the authority is an unaccepted synonym of a valid/accepted name in a taxonomic authority; Multiple names are separated by a semicolon and a space. kingdom - Required; from Darwin Core; one of seven names as specified in ITIS or another naming authority; controlled vocabulary: Animalia, Bacteria, Chromista, Fungi, Plantae, Protozoa, Virus. phylum - Required; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority; occasionally = "undefined". class - Required; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority; occasionally = "undefined". order - Required; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority; occasionally = "undefined". family - Required; from Darwin Core; as provided by the taxonomic authority; occasionally = "undefined". taxonomicStatus - Required; from Darwin Core; value = "Accepted " followed by the acronym of the taxonomic authority providing the taxonID. taxonID - Required; from Darwin Core; a unique number for the taxa, as provided by the taxonomic authority. Where possible, a URN. Otherwise a stable URL. associatedReferences - Required; from Darwin Core; the abbreviated name for the author of the resource asserting the taxa's non-native species status. Generally, but not always, followed by (year), followed by a URL back to an online version of the reference, or by a full reference. eventDate - Required; from Darwin Core; the date of creation of the record, in the format YYYY-MM-DD; manually generated so errors are possible. NOTE: if earliest occurrence for the species is known or suspected, it is provided in the eventRemarks field. modified - Required; from Darwin Core; date of latest edit/change made to the record; is manually generated, so errors are possible. occurrenceRemarks - Optional; from Darwin Core; text field with comments about the record, generally extracted from the text of the associatedReference or other references. occurrenceID - Required; from Darwin Core; an identifier for the Organism instance (at the record level); a controlled vocabulary that is manually generated using an ordinal number that is not repeated, prefixed by the umbrella dataset's abbreviated name (USRIIS), the record's locality (AK), and the record's kingdom; since the content of this field is not auto-generated, it is subject to human error. Deleted occurrenceIDs are not reused.

Study Extent Temporal: data collection began in 2012 and is ongoing. Publication has been annual since 2018.
Quality Control Incoming data is error checked. Scientific names are validated against the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), then the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and other taxonomic authorities when necessary. Other data fields are assumed correct. The validity of the assertion of non-native status itself may subsequently be questioned and the entry deleted or moved to a watch list if: the scientific name is not in ITIS and not reaffirmed by other authoritative taxonomic sources; other authoritative sources state the species is not present or is native or cryptic; irreconcilable typographical errors in scientific names are found; entries are found to be duplicate or synonomous taxonomic names; nominate subspecies names are removed if they are the only subspecies in the list and the parent binomial is already in the regional list.

Method step description:

  1. Tools used are described in the following steps:
  2. Microsoft Word to assist in formatting data.
  3. Microsoft Excel to hold the data and sort and display it.
  4. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) to validate taxonomic names.
  5. Global Biodiversity Information Facility to validate taxonomic names not found in ITIS.
  6. Microsoft OneDrive to store the data.
  7. Adobe Pro to extract text from image-based pdfs.
  8. Atlassian Jira to track update and review tasks.
  9. Sublime Text to assist with text formatting and metadata eml generation.
  10. Various browsers (MS Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari), species databases, and search engines, to discover authoritative introduced species lists for AK, HI, and L48.
  11. PROVENANCE: Our team tracks the provenance of the dataset as any modifications, transformations, edits, or decisions to accept or reject data points are made. Provenance is essential to the dataset, which consists entirely of assertions of the presence and non-native status of a species in an area.
  12. This tracking involves the inclusion of an authority or data source with each assertion that a species is introduced and established in a given area. The actual authorities' lists and manuscripts themselves are also saved digitally as written proof of the individual assertions and to justify, as necessary, each species' inclusion in the list.
  13. To assist with tracking the evolution of a data record, there are "Acquisition Date" and "modified" fields (which are not auto-generated and so subject to human error). The "modified" field is a Darwin Core term for the date of the last modification of the record (YYYY-MM-DD), and the cumulative modifications to the record are described in the "Update Remarks" field, separated within the field by commas (for modifications made on the same date) and semicolons (separating modifications made on different dates).
  14. The dataset and the reference authorities are maintained in Microsoft OneDrive. The list is worked on in MS Excel and the file's history can be used to 'roll back' to previous versions, if necessary. A versionHistory.txt file published online along with the data describes major changes and differences in each published version of the list. Past versions of the precursor (V3.0) to this dataset are maintained and made available as deprecated .zip files at:
  15. ANALYZE CRITERIA: Assertions of introduced and established status for a species are accepted if the authority is a trusted source, such as a governmental or government-affiliated, non-governmental organization, international biodiversity organization, academic institution, or a taxonomic expert. If a list is found on the Web and judged as authoritative, it is downloaded for future reference. Authorities, in addition to being cited within each record, are accumulated in an AuthorityReferences spreadsheet. These criteria are part of our documentation. When there is disagreement among experts about establishment, taxonomy, native status, and approximate dates of introduction a wider search of available information is used to determine the best resolution. Cryptic species (of unknown origin) are not included in the GRIIS-AK. Taxa with conflicting status or taxonomy among different sources, that cannot be reconciled through further research, are moved to an informal watch list (available upon request).

Additional Metadata

During the data cleaning of this species checklist (that can be downloaded as part of the dataaset at 1) 'Other Names' has been mapped to 'taxonRemarks' with the preface 'Other names: ' 2) 'locality' values were translated during data cleaning: AK = Alaska 3) 'establishmentMeans' values were generated and derived as either 'introduced (alien, exotic, non-native, nonindigenous)' if not a biocontrol species or 'introduced: assisted colonization' if there was an 'associatedTaxa' value present 4) 'Introduced or Invasive' was mapped to 'degreeOfEstablishment' and to 'isInvasive' 5) 'isHybrid' values were calculated from 'scientificName' and 'vernacularName' values during data cleaning 6) 'associatedReferences' values were generated during data cleaning, by merging 'Authority' and 'associatedReferences'. If not available online, a full reference was extracted from the MasterListOfAuthorities. 7) 'taxonID' was generated during data cleaning, from the authority listed in 'taxonomicStatus' 8) 'associatedTaxa' values, where provided, were prefixed during data cleaning with 'Biocontrol species of: ' 9) 'eventRemarks' was generated from 'Approximate Introduction Date' with the prefix 'Approx. date of introduction: ' added during data cleaning. 10) 'eventDate' reflects the date the record was first added to the GRIIS-AK. NOTE: if earliest occurrence for the species is known or suspected, it is provided in the eventRemarks field. 11) Content for these fields (where appropriate) was globally added during data cleaning: administrativeArea, basisOfRecord, continent, country, countryCode, datasetID, datasetName, dcterms:bibliographicCitation, dcterms:language, dcterms:license, dcterms:references, dcterms:rightsHolder, dcterms:source, dcterms:subject, dcterms:temporal, dcterms:type, higherGeography, institutionCode, occurrenceStatus, stateProvince.

Purpose We anticipate the GRIIS-AK will be used to 1) refine species lists for horizon scanning (established species should not be included), 2) create introduced species lists for smaller areas within Alaska, and 3) tag species occurrence data records with an introduced status where the species may not have been initially reported as introduced. The GRIIS-AK also contributes to the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (
Maintenance Description Although updates to the U.S. Register of Introduced and Invasive Species are actively sought and the unofficial version may change daily, it is anticipated that peer reviewed updates for it and its three sublists will be made available annually.
Alternative Identifiers 1d410454-0a4f-4f78-b438-c4f4da3965eb