Invasive Species Don’t Belong Here!
Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects or pathogens that negatively alter their new environments. Not all non-native species are considered invasive, they must cause negative environmental, economical and/or social impacts. Invasive species:
- Often have been introduced by humans
- May directly kill other species, introduce disease or hybridize with native species
- Typically prefer disturbed habitats
- Have high reproductive rates
- Lack natural predators
Managing and removing invasive species is critical to protecting our watershed’s natural biodiversity and beauty.
How Did Invasive Species Get Here?
European settlers not only sought new homes, but brought things with them. This included invasive species, while some were because they wanted a reminder of home, others hitched a ride and were unintentionally introduced.
It still happens today! There are many ways we are still spreading invasive species.
- Between lakes and rivers when boats and ships dump ballast water (used to balance ships in rough water) or when small critters including zebra mussels or aquatic plants hitch a ride on a recreational boats.
- Anglers and the baitfish industry may dump unwanted bait into waterbodies.
- Local nurseries may sell invasive plants that have not been regulated.
- The importation of wood products or other shipping materials can bring unnoticed pests such as emerald ash borer or Asian long-horned beetle.
- Seeds from invasive plants can get caught on hikers or bikers boots, clothing, and gear as they explore the outdoors.
Why Are We Concerned About Invasive Species?
The rapid spread of invasive species has become a major concern worldwide. From an ecological perspective, there is concern about:
- The displacement of diverse native species
- Impacts on species that rely on native plants for food, and habitat
- Reduced genetic diversity
The loss of native species can be associated with financial losses.
Help Stop the Spread
Your pet goldfish or turtles don’t belong in the natural water bodies of our watershed. Yard waste can contain seeds of various species, some invasive, so do not dispose of your yard waste in natural areas or parks.
Keep to walking trails in natural areas. Invasive species can also ‘hitch a ride’ on recreational equipment (e.g. bicycles, personal watercraft, or ATVs), so be sure to clean equipment before moving between water bodies or natural areas.
Be aware of the risk of spreading forest pests such as the Asian long-horned beetle and the emerald ash borer when transporting wood. Don’t move wood into or out of quarantine zones.
Watercraft including boats, canoes and kayaks, and watercraft equipment are now regulated as carriers for invasive species under Ontario’s Invasive Species Act. Boaters are required to take the following steps before transporting a boat or boat equipment overland.
- Remove or open drain plugs to allow water to drain from the boat or boat equipment
- Take reasonable precautions to remove all mud, aquatic plants (weeds), animals and algae from any boat, boat equipment, vehicle or trailer
Learn more about the provincial regulation.
Action on Invasive Species
See how your neighbours are taking action in the fight against invasive species.
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Invasive Species News
Invasive phragmites, also called common reed and European reed, is an invasive perennial grass threating Ontario’s biodiversity.
Do you have invasive phragmites on your property? Contact our invasive species team to submit observations. We can also provide advice to control its spread on your property.
Review Key Documents
- Identification How-To
- Invasive Species Lists
- Resources for Gardeners and Landscapers
- CVC’s Invasive Species Strategy
- List of Invasive Species Removal Service Providers