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Recent News

Emerald Ash Bor​er Arrives in Thunder Bay


Photo: David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This marks the first time the insect has been detected outside of the regulated area in the province. Effective immediately, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is restricting movement of all ash material such as logs, branches, and wood chips, as well as all species of firewood from the affected site. Emerald ash borer is a highly destructive forest pest that has already killed millions of ash trees in North America. To learn more about this insect, visit the Forest Invasives Emerald Ash Borer Species Profile.

Help stop the spread of this invasive insect. Don’t move firewood – buy it where you burn it.

North America’s future invasive species fighters will come together for Envirothon this July in Ontario
16 June 2016, Forests Ontario

Toronto, ON, June 16, 2016 – Forests Ontario is pleased to announce the Invasive Species Centre has stepped forward as lead sponsor for the 2016 North American Envirothon (NAE), to be held in Peterborough, Ontario this summer. This exciting event will bring together more than 300 of the brightest students from across North America who spent the past year studying this year’s Envirothon theme – Invasive Species.

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3 C's are the Key 

"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies" - Gertrude Jekyll

Protect what you love with the 3 C's of conscious gardening! Your garden is at great risk from invasive species which out-compete native species and alter local environmental conditions. By compromising native plant populations, invaders in-turn affect wildlife populations by decreasing available habitat and food source. This Spring as you tend to your garden, be conscious of invasive species and use these tips from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's 'Gardener Action Plan'.

1. Choose Native Plants: The fundamental rule of gardening is to choose plants that are native to your region. The Grow Me Instead Guides for Northern and Southern Ontario highlight excellent alternative species that provide similar function and appearance to the invasive plants you may appreciate having in your garden. 

2. Compost Carefully: Even after being uprooted from your garden, invasive plants can sprout new roots and propagate nearby. Before adding uprooted invasives to your compost pile. leave them in a black garbage bag in the sun for one week. This will ensure they don't continue to grow unchecked in nearby areas. 

3. Check the Pond: Invasive plants can spread in and out of your ornamental pond as well. Aquatic invasive plants can be just as threatening for their ability to grow quickly and deprive aquatic ecosystems of sunlight and oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for the common aquatic invaders, but take extra care not to dump pond water and fish into other water bodies. 

New French Language Asian Carp Canada Website Makes a Splash 

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The Invasive Species Centre has partnered with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to launch a comprehensive French language version of their Canadian website on Asian carps. Asian Carp Canada (www.carpeasiatique.ca) provides information on all aspects of Asian carps, including the most recent prevention, warning, response and research efforts to address the overall ecological and socio-economic threats of Asian carps to the Great Lakes and beyond.

Dave Burden, Regional Director General, Central and Arctic Region of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said, “the need to protect our environment, economy and social well-being from the Asian carps threat is of paramount importance. This is why partnerships between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Invasive Species Centre and others across North America are so vital to ensuring that up-to-date information on Asian carps is available to all Canadians.” 

The website serves as a gateway to retrieve reports, fact sheets, webinars, maps and educational materials in a way that is easily accessible for a variety of audiences.  Visitors to the website can explore information describing the four different species of Asian carps, their history in North America, and the ecological and socio-economic risks if they were to establish in Canadian waters. Visitors will also learn about the many efforts toward monitoring, prevention, and response in both Canada and the United States with an emphasis on Canadian actions, including work underway by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The website also offers more technical and scientific information for those interested in exploring topics in greater detail.

Tracey Cooke, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Centre said, “Every Canadian needs to know more about the serious threat of Asian carps to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes. The new carpeasiatique.ca website offers easy access to timely information about Asian carps in the French language. Increasing collective knowledge and awareness about Asian carps will help to prevent their establishment in Canadian waters.”

“Asian carps” refer to four species of carps (Bighead, Black, Grass, Silver) that are native to China and southern Russia. All four species have escaped into the wild in North America and three have established self-sustaining populations, particularly in the Mississippi waterway system in the United States. Beyond the tremendous socio-economic cost for the commercial and recreational fisheries, the establishment of Asian carps into Canadian waters poses a threat to native species and overall biodiversity because Asian carps are likely to alter fish habitat, compete with native fishes for food and space, and act as carriers for diseases or parasites.

Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act, Receives Royal Assent

The Invasive Species Centre endorses the leadership of the Province of Ontario in passing Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act. After passing the Third Reading on October 21, 2015, the Bill has promptly received the Royal Assent necessary for its approval. The first of its kind, Ontario’s Invasive Species Act fills a large legislative gap that addresses the need for provincial authority to deal holistically with invasive species. There is no similar comprehensive instrument anywhere in Canada at the federal or provincial levels that condenses the authority to deal with invasive species. By implementing this Act, Ontario will take a large step forward to proactively prevent invasions and expedite the response when invasions occur. The Invasive Species Centre’s own work to prevent harmful invasive species impacts on Canada’s environment, economy and society will be bolstered by this appropriate systemic change in the province of Ontario. 

Because of its geography and trade centres, Ontario is especially at risk for the significant, far-reaching environmental and socio-economic impacts that invasive species cause. This Act gives Ontario the tools and authorities needed to intercept and quickly respond to invasive species by: having the ability to classify the threat level of a species, prohibiting the import and possession of significant-threat species, and by providing the Minister with the power to implement a temporary-threat designation to a newly discovered invader. By passing the Invasive Species Act, Ontario is taking necessary action to limit the costs and impacts of invasive species, and protect Ontario’s environment, economy and society for its citizens and future generations. The Act will come into effect in one year. 

The approved Bill and Invasive Species Centre presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy can be accessed online for further reading.    


Government of Ontario

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Canadian Food Inspection Agency