Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is a collaborative campaign focused on raising awareness about invasive species through social media. ISAW is inspired by the ‘National Invasive Species Awareness Week’ in the United States, with Canada sharing the same dates as the U.S. campaign. In Ontario, the Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network, Forests Ontario, Invading Species Awareness Program, Invasive Species Centre, and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council have partnered to develop ISAW campaign resource materials.
This year, Invasive Species Awareness Week takes place February 22 – February 26, 2021 using the hashtag #InvSpWk.
An invasive species is an organism that causes, or is likely to cause, ecological, economic, or social harm in a new environment where it is not native. Invasive species reduce the diversity of plant and animal species in an environment and can put native species at-risk. They do this by crowding-out or competing for resources like light, water, and nutrients, preying on native species, or acting as carriers for diseases or parasites that could spread to native species.
“Our goal is to engage in dialogue with key audiences about invasive species and their impacts and share methods for stopping the spread of invasive species. We can all do our part by sharing a united message on the threat invasive species pose to Canada’s natural heritage,” states Sarah Rang, Executive Director at the Invasive Species Centre.
This year’s Invasive Species Awareness Week campaign features the following daily themes:
- Monday, February 22 – Learning About Invasive Species
- Tuesday, February 23 – Pathways of Spread
- Wednesday, February 24 – Prevention and Reporting
- Thursday, February 25 – Invasive Species and Biodiversity
- Friday, February 26 – Community Champions on Invasive Species
There are a few ways to get involved in helping to join the invasive species conversation!
- You and/or your organization can like, and share/retweet posts created by participating organizations using the hashtag #InvSpWk
- You and/or your organization can create your own invasive species content using the daily themes as a guide and share them using the hashtag #InvSpWk
Invasive Species Awareness Week materials are available to promote the campaign on social media. High-resolution images can be downloaded at http://www.invadingspecies.com/invading-species-awareness-week-2021/
The campaign graphics can be downloaded for your own use by adding your organization’s logo or additional text specific to your organization/area. There is also a list of invasive species resources (with information links) included in the toolkit.