ALIENS AMONG US:
There is a growing concern with alien (non-native) invasive species and the impacts they can have – and there is good reason to be concerned.
Invasive alien species are a serious problem. Too often, a species becomes well established before we realize how much of a problem it can be. Learning more about these alien species can help in management, as well as improve early detection and rapid response to new invaders.
There are many types of invasive species, including plants, animals, and micro-organisms. An invasive species is often defined on the basis of negatively impacting the environment and native species, the economy and/or society (e.g., human health). The problem of invasive species is complex – there are lots of species, many different pathways for them to become established, and they can’t all be controlled in the same way.
An invasive species is something outside its normal range, due to accidental or purposeful introduction. Some examples of unintentional introduction of invasive species include: weed seeds mixed in with imported soil or crop seeds, and insects, disease or fungus that are present as hitchhikers on imported materials. In other cases, species are introduced intentionally, as agricultural crops, landscape plants, ornamentals, or plants for medicine and research.
Not all non-native species are invasive. Typically, an alien species becomes invasive because of a lack of natural controls (e.g., predators or disease) that would be present in their home range to keep the population in check. Without these natural controls, invasive species have a competitive edge over native species, and become a problem through rapid spread and increase in numbers.
- Learn to identify invasive alien species and share your knowledge
- Prevention is crucial - eradication is costly and challenging
- Do not dump yard waste or garden plants in the wild. Follow Best Management Practices for gardening:
- Do not dump aquariums or release baitfish from one water body into another - it’s illegal
- Clean boats/equipment before moving from one water body to another
Don’t move firewood: buy it where you burn it! Moving wood from restricted areas can result in substantial fines and/or prosecution.
- Report sightings of invasive species at
www.eddmaps.org/ontario or call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711
- Take action to reduce impacts of invasive species, participate in local invasive alien species control/management activities
- Dispose of invasive species properly to avoid contaminating other areas