New invasive species information resource that focuses on management activities
By: Lyn Brown, Brock University Master of Sustainability Graduate
Existing worldwide and local invasive species databases focus on distribution, abundance, identification, and impacts of invasive species, but few focus on management activities. As part of a master’s thesis, a database was developed for aquatic and riparian invasive species control activities in Canada’s Niagara watershed. The interactive map and database show who is doing what and where. Information about control efficacy, and organizational contact information is also included in the user-friendly Geographic Information System (GIS) map.
Seventy-one organizations involved in riparian/aquatic invasive management in the Niagara area were contacted and 16 were interviewed in-depth. In 2017/2018 there were 35 separate control efforts reported, involving 10 riparian invasive species and two aquatic invasive species, with most concentrated along the Niagara River.
Overall, this database provides a baseline for the current state of aquatic and riparian invasive species management activities in the region and can be used as a tool to identify resource-sharing opportunities, management efficacy, priority areas, areas of improvement, and future resource needs. This could inspire others to form a similar style of database that collects the same type of information in other regions of the world to increase invasive species management collaboration.
Users can filter the map by invasive species, control type, or control efficacy, so that the map displays the desired locations. Organizations can contact others working on the same invasive species to get insights into details or specifics of various control techniques, e.g. details on timing, application, and costs. Other formats of the database are available in Microsoft Access and Excel for advanced querying.
Start using Niagara’s Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Control Database, by visiting: https://brocku.ca/unesco-chair/research/invasive-species/.
About the author: Lyn Brown earned a Master of Sustainability at Brock University. She is spending the next year gaining field experience with shorebirds and sea turtles with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, before starting a Ph.D. program in conservation.