The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database (http://nas.er.usgs.gov) functions as a national repository and clearinghouse for occurrence data for introduced species within the United States. Included is locality information on over 1,100 species of vertebrates, invertebrates, and vascular plants introduced as early as 1850. Taxa include foreign (exotic) species and species native to North America that have been transported outside of their natural range. Locality data are obtained from published and unpublished literature, state, federal and local monitoring programs, museum accessions, on-line databases, websites, professional communications and on-line reporting forms. The NAS web site provides immediate access to new occurrence records through a real-time interface with the NAS database. Visitors to the web site are presented with a set of pre-defined queries that generate lists of species according to state or hydrologic basin of interest. Fact sheets, distribution maps, and information on new occurrences are updated as new records and information become available. The NAS database allows resource managers to learn of new introductions reported in their region or nearby regions, improving response time. Conversely, managers are encouraged to report their observations of new occurrences to the NAS database so information can be disseminated to other managers, researchers, and the public. In May 2004, the NAS database incorporated an Alert System to notify registered users of new introductions as part of a national early detection/rapid response system. Users can register to receive alerts based on geographic or taxonomic criteria. The NAS database was used to identify 23 fish species introduced into the lower Tennessee and Cumberland drainages. Most of these are sport fish stocked to support fisheries, but the list also includes accidental and illegal introductions such as Asian Carps, clupeids, various species popular in the aquarium trade, and Atlantic Needlefish (Strongylura marina) that was introduced via the newly-constructed Tennessee-Tombigbee Canal.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database with a focus on the introduced fishes of the lower Tennessee and Cumberland drainages
Center for Excellence for Field Biology, Austin Peay State University