A Michigan State University scientist has developed a smart phone application to help keep track of invasive species.

The free app is one component of the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network developed by bio-geographer Amos Ziegler.

It enables people who think they’ve spotted an invasive critter or plant to snap its photo with their phone, log a few notes and send an alert to state officials and scientists.

Ziegler says information such as the location, date and time of a sighting can help experts map the spread of unwanted species and put together plans to stop them.

He hopes the network will help Michigan become a leader in preventing species invasions.

A teacher in the Chicago area has already used the app to help foresters identify and remove invasive plants.

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