Vectors and Pathways


Pathways are the means by which species are transported from one location to another. Natural pathways include wind, currents, and other forms of dispersal in which a specific species has developed morphological and behavioral characteristics to employ. Man-made pathways are those pathways which are enhanced or created by human activity. These pathways can be either intentional and unintentional.



A winding road Transportation Related Pathways Diagram (PDF | 178 KB)

Diagram of transportation related pathways including all the various pathways related to the transportation of people and goods, such as miltary travel and transportation of military vehichles. Created by Don MacLean USFWS


Fruit fly Living Industry Pathways (PDF | 186 KB)

Diagram of living industry pathways for the spread of invasive species; including all pathways associated with living organisms or their by-products. Created by Don MacLean, USFWS


A moose standing in water Diagram of Miscellaneous Pathways (PDF | 175 KB)

Pathways not covered under transportation or living industries, including biocontrol; other aquatic pathways; natural spread; and ecosystem disturbance. Created by Don MacLean USFWS


Vectors and Pathways Resource Lists

Resources related to pathways and risk assessment


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agency logo Risk and Pathway Analysis Program (PDF | 171 KB)

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology.

The Program focuses on collecting and interpreting scientific evidence and technical information regarding plant pest risks. This information is used to design risk-based policies and regulation for import, export, and domestic programs.