USGS/NAS Database Releases New Web API

Submitted by Pam Fuller

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database ( functions as a repository and clearinghouse for occurrence information on nonindigenous aquatic species from across the United States. The NAS database contains spatially referenced biogeographic information on more than 1,000 species introduced since 1800, including foreign species and North American native taxa transplanted outside of their natural range. Awareness of, and timely response to, novel species introductions by those involved in nonindigenous aquatic species management and research is critical to effective mitigation, response, and control efforts. 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 can use a set of pre-defined queries to obtain lists of species according to state or hydrologic basin of interest. Fact sheets, distribution maps, and information on new occurrences are continually posted and updated. Dynamically generated species distribution maps show spatial accuracy of the locations reported, population status, and the points are linked to the full specimen record containing all information about that report.

To enhance access to the wealth of information contained within the database, the NAS program has created a web services API to provide information in a standardized, machine-readable format. This API will provide automated access to occurrence information stored in the NAS database, and allow for incorporation into novel nonindigenous aquatic species mapping and/or monitoring applications.

For more information about the API, please read the API documentation at

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