Invasive Species Awareness

Questions about invasive species? We have answers

What is an Invasive Species?

According to the Ontario invading Species Awareness Program, invasive alien species are defined as “those harmful alien species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, or society, including human health.” Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of Ontario’s waters, wetlands and woodlands. Originating from other regions of the world, and in the absence of their natural predators or controls, invading species can have devastating effects on native species, habitats and ecosystems.

According to Ontario’s Invasive Species Strategy Plan, Ontario is higher at risk for new invasive species. Compared to other provinces Ontario has the highest number of invasive plant species, with 441; as well as the most non-native freshwater fish, with 26 known species.

What is MVCA doing to help stop the spread of invasive species?

At MVCA Invasive Species Monitoring is done as an extension of our Watershed Watch program with the assistance of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

Three species are targeted with our efforts:

1.  Zebra Mussels
2. Spiny Water Flea
3. Rusty Cray fish

How can I learn more about potential invaders?

This summer we have the pleasure of working with monitoring student Elizabeth Salter . Aside from carrying out watershed monitoring duties, Elizabeth is a member of the ‘HitSquad’ organized by OFAH and the Ontario Invasive Species Awareness Program.

The Invading Species ‘Hit Squad’ delivers community based invasive species education, awareness and monitoring initiatives. Working in partnership with MNRF district offices, stewardship councils, conservation authorities, and non-governmental organizations, over 20 summer students are hired annually to attend local festivals and events, deliver educational programming to the public, and monitor local areas for invasive species.

To create awareness for invasive species, Elizabeth has come up with a contest called ‘Name that Invasive.’ Once weekly, for five weeks, Elizabeth takes to social media to reveal an invasive species that is established in Ontario along with a picture and description. At the end of the five weeks a quiz to test your knowledge will be posted for the chance to win a prize.  Follow along for your chance to win on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Is there someone I can talk to?

To chat with someone now or for more information, contact the Invading Species Hotline 1-800-563-7711 or call Elizabeth Salter at 613.253.0006. You may have to leave a message as she is out in the field most of the day.

Where can I find out what invasive species look like and how to get rid of them?

 

 

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