Western PRISM

WNY PRISM’s 2014 Crew conducting an invasive species survey along trails at Bergen Swamp. From left to right: Andrew Stadler, Patrick Gormley, and Angie Driscoll.

Partnering to Protect Western New York from Invasive Species

Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (WNY PRISM) is one of eight regional public-private partnerships created to address the threat posed by invasive species. WNY PRISM is focused on improving the effectiveness of invasive species management and increasing awareness of invasive species issues within our eight-county region.

The WNY PRISM region includes the eight westernmost counties in New York State: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. This region is home to some of New York’s most impressive natural features such as Niagara Falls and the Niagara River Gorge, Letchworth State Park, Zoar Valley, and the shorelines of both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Land dedicated to agriculture includes over 1.4 million acres, and the region holds a population of over 1.55 million residents.

The WNY PRISM mission is to proactively identify, evaluate and address invasive species priorities in western New York using a coordinated partnership of local professionals, organizations and private citizens to improve, restore and protect local aquatic and terrestrial resources.

Core Functions & Goals

Partner/Network Coordination

Establish a partnership network and communication for those involved in invasive species information and management within the WNY PRISM region. Facilitate opportunities for cooperation including sharing of information, personnel, equipment and expertise.

Information Management

Collect, utilize, and share information regarding invasive species management including species, pathways of invasion, surveys, infestations, control methods, monitoring, research, current efforts/projects and opportunities for partner collaboration.

In 2015, WNY PRISM worked with the Audubon Community Nature Center to remove water chestnut from ponds on their property. 2015 WNY PRISM Education and Outreach Assistant, Patricia Shulenburg, is pictured with a volunteer.

Education and Outreach

Increase the public, partner, and stakeholder awareness, understanding and participation in invasive species issues and management within the WNY PRISM region, through effective educational and outreach efforts.


Facilitate the prevention of new occurrence, spread, and further establishment of invasive species within the WNY PRISM region through understanding of pathways of invasion and targeting of priority conservation areas. Prevention measures must address both the movement of invasive species in and out of the WNY PRISM region.

Early Detection and Rapid Response

Develop effective early detection, assessment and rapid response protocol(s) for the WNY PRISM region including mapping procedures, volunteer training/involvement, Best Management Practices, permit regulations and response teams, and provide assistance to partners for implementation of recommended protocols.

Management and Habitat Restoration

Assist partners with control of invasive species (eradication, containment, suppression) on high priority conservation areas based on identified regional conservation targets. Assist with the establishment of long-term management and monitoring, and the restoration of impacted sites to healthy native vegetation, to provide increased resilience against future invasions.

Invasive Species Priorities

WNY PRISM developed regional priority species through our Terrestrial and Aquatic Invasive Species Working Groups in 2015.

Terrestrial Priorities

  1. Adelges tsugae                 Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
  2. Agrilus planipennis                Emerald Ash Borer
  3. Cirsium arvense              Canada Thistle
  4. Cynanchum louiseae               Black Swallow-wort
  5. Cynanchum rossicum                  Pale Swallow-wort
  6. Lonicera spp.                  Bush Honeysuckles
  7. Phalaris arundinacea                 Reed Canary Grass
  8. Phragmites australis             Phragmites, Common Reed
  9. Reynoutria spp.                  Knotweeds
  10. Rhamnus cathartica            Common Buckthorn

Aquatic Priorities

  1. Corbicula fluminea                        Asian Clam
  2. Hemimysis anomala                      Bloody Red Shrimp
  3. Hydrilla verticillata                         Hydrilla
  4. Hydrocharis morus-ranae             European Frog-bit
  5. Orconectes rusticus                      Rusty Crayfish
  6. Scardinius erythrophthalmus      Rudd
  7. Trapa natans                                   Water Chestnut

Early Detection Priorities

  1. Anoplophora glabripennis        Asian Longhorned Beetle
  2. Brachypodium sylvaticum          Slender False Brome
  3. Channa argus                           Northern Snakehead
  4. Eichhornia crassipes               Water Hyacinth
  5. Hypophthalmichthys molitrix   Silver Carp
  6. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis    Bighead Carp
  7. Microstegium vimineum        Japanese Stiltgrass
  8. Persicaria perfoliata             Mile-a-Minute Vine
  9. Pistia stratiotes                    Water Lettuce

For more information, please contact WNY PRISM at 716-878-4708 / wnyprism@buffalostate.edu.