Priority Species

Priority species are organisms (plants, animals, and pathogens) that are not native to the ecosystem and whose introduction causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health.

Potential pathways for individuals to spread invasive species include the aquarium trade, boating, hiking, fishing, and swimming. Seeds, plant parts, or larvae attached on boots, waders, clothing, automobiles, recreational and commercial boats, paddles, life jackets, and bilge water are examples of some potential vectors that may spread invasive species.

Due to the potential harm invasive species can cause to natural communities and systems, all New Yorkers have a stake in the issue. A comprehensive list of prohibited and regulated species was developed to help control invasive species by reducing their spread and introduction.

Regulated Species


A team of experts consisting of scientists, land managers, and officials from environmental organizations and government meet in person and determine the priority invasive species of concern.

To help protect the resources you love, join the PRISM listserve to learn more about the priority invasive species in New York. Check with your PRISM to find out what species are on the list in your region!

PRISMs and Partners