Invasive species on the Bruce: All hands on deck!! Dec 6 2017

6 Dec 2017 7:30 PM | Rod Layman (Administrator)

An Invasive Species task force has been formed with comprehensive representation from all levels of government, conservation authorities, non-governmental organizations and community members on the peninsula. The job of the taskforce is to map, prioritize and manage active populations of invasive species as well as to be on the lookout for new invasions on the Bruce.

Tyler Miller, Park Canada’s Resource Management Officer for the Bruce Peninsula, presented first: Invasive plants occupy and are invading all our ecosystems, above and below water. Southern Ontario contains the highest number – one hundred and thirty-nine - of invasive plant species in the country that have originally come from Europe or Asia. Of these, forty-nine species have invaded the Bruce Peninsula.

Miller defined invasive species as those that pose alarming ecological, economic, and social threats. These plant species cause irreversible damage to the environment, leave lasting scars on the landscape and are recognised to be one of the foremost causes of declining biodiversity globally. Moreover, cleanup is costly for government, industry and households. For example, Tyler said, invasive plants cost the agriculture and forest industries in Canada about $7.3 billion annually.

Esme Batten, Coordinator, Conservation Biology for the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula of the Nature Conservancy of Canada described the projects currently underway to control phragmites – a particularly aggressive form of reed - across the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula.

Esme cautioned us all: Do not be a pathway for these terrestrial invaders. But, working on prevention, early detection and eradication of invasive plant species is the most economical and effective means of invasive plant management.

She said that it is important to ensure new weed species or vegetative reproductive plant parts are not introduced into a new area. Here’s where individuals may play a role in identifying new weeds and working with local organizations to deal with new infestations to eradicate them as soon as possible.

A take-away from the meeting was that preventing the establishment and spread of invasive species may be one of the most valuable actions that we can do for conservation. Contact Esme Batten at esmebatten@gmail.com if you identify an invasive plant or wish to volunteer on eradication of invasive plant species.

 

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