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October 27, 2017 5:41 pm

Invasive Species Month Underway

Monday, May 8, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

Orange  flowers of Hawkweed on left,   and Giant Hog weed on right,  two  problem  invasive  species – images courtesy Invasive Species Council of BC

Prince George, B.C.- Now that the weather is  improving,  things are greening up and  invasive plants are  taking hold.   This is Invasive  Species month  in B.C, and  there is a  concerted effort underway  to  stop the spread of flora and fauna that are  invasive.

Invasive species  can  damage  bio diversity and pose a survival threat to  wildlife  and  cattle  as their natural feed  is  choked out by  invasive plants .  That goes  for aquatic life as well, as  non native  species ( such as Koi)  can deplete their food source.

This year,   there is emphasis on  people’s recreational activities says Gail Wallin  of the Invasive Species Council in B.C. “That’s a huge spread for invasive species” says Wallin  who says boaters and  other recreation activities  can  unwittingly spread  invasive species.  The  message is “Play Clean Go” says Wallin “We’re looking for people,  before they take their  ATV’s their trucks etcetera,  off the roads into other areas to make sure their  equipment is clean ’cause  we transport, whether you’re hiking up a trail and you’ve got seeds  on your boots from another area,  you will be transporting invasives.”

Wallin says it’s not unlike flu season “You don’t know what flus are coming in, but if you wash your hands you don’t spread germs, it’s the same logic.”

The northern region of the province has fewer invasive species than  areas south of Kamloops  says Wallin,  but  with people experiencing  the outdoors  throughout the province,  and with warmer winters,   there is a potential for  the spread of  invasive species  and for those  species to take hold in the region.

As a reminder,  Wallin says  plants  suspected  of being invasive, should never be  tossed into  the compost  “If you don’t know your flowers and  you put those in the compost,  you’re  going to have that through your garden next year.”

Last year,  the Council  launched a new  app   to allow  people  to both  identify and report  invasive  species.  The app  is having  a positive  impact says Wallin “More people are reporting,  and that’s good.  It helps people look and report.  It  helps  but it’s not  the same as everybody taking action on their own, because that’s the best thing.”





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