Since 1992, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) have partnered to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program. The objectives of the program are to raise public awareness of invasive species and encourage their participation in preventing their spread; to monitor and track the spread of invading species through verified citizen science reports and the Invading Species Watch Program; and to conduct research on the impacts and control of invasive species. Through this program, OMNRF and OFAH have collected information about invasive species distribution records that cover the entire Province of Ontario. These data are housed in a spatial layer in the Ontario Land Information Warehouse. The purpose of this spatial layer is to display distributions of invasive aquatics (fishes, invertebrates, plants) and terrestrial plant data across the Province. This information can be used to determine, monitor and track the spread of invasive species of concern, and to guide the development of natural resource management plans. This spatial layer is contained within Ontario Land Information Warehouse and can be accessed free of charge to members of the Ontario Geospatial Data Exchange (OGDE). Click here to determine if your organization/agency is currently a member. If your organization is not a member, but regularly uses spatial information, you should join the OGDE by signing a data agreement, which will facilitate easy data downloads in the future. If you are a member of a smaller organization and would like to obtain specific data for one-time use, please contact the OFAH directly at 1-800-563-7711. If your organization is already an OGDE member, follow these steps to obtain your data:

  1. Identify the resource that contains the data of interest. The invasive species layer is called Species Observation, Locally Tracked, or SPEOBSLT for short). If you would like to obtain additional layers, search for them using Land Information Ontario’s (LIO) Metadata Management Tool (M2).
  2. To obtain the data you must first obtain an account.
  3. Obtain the appropriate data license (OGDE members already have a data license).
  4. Submit your order using the Land Information Data Subscription Service (LIDS).
  5. Once your data request has been filled, you will receive an email directing you to log back into LIDS to download your data.
  6. GIS software is required to view or use geospatial data. If you do not have access to GIS software (e.g. ArcMap), LIO offers a link to a list of free GIS data viewers.

The instructions are also detailed here.