Invasive Species Council of British Columbia | ISCBC Plants & Animals

ISCBC ENEWS - August 2014

Hello from the ISCBC!

Be sure to register soon for the upcoming international conference, Weeds Across Borders 2014. This event is approaching quickly and promises to be a great opportunity for sharing knowledge about invasive species management, and the regulatory challenges and concerns about preventing the spread of invasives species between Mexico, Canada and the United States. Registration is open! 

The ISCBC is continuing to offer monthly, free webinars on topics of interest to you! Space fills up fast so keep up-to-date on the next webinars through our email, website and social media announcements. 

Just released! A pocket guide is now available on Best Practices for Managing Invasive Species on Utility Operations. See the link below to view. 

The ISCBC would like to thank Ariel Kettle, Keenan Farquharson, and Bryce Downey for their contribution to the PlantWise and Clean Drain Dry programs this year. Our staff had a very busy summer attending numerous education and outreach events where they shared our program messages and sought behaviour change commitments. Our team will be wrapping up their term at the Interior Pacific Exhibition in Armstrong from Aug. 27th-31st.

We hope you enjoy this month's enews.  

The ISCBC Team

Register Today! Weeds Across Borders 2014

Interested in attending the 12th annual Weeds Across Borders (WAB) international conference in Ottawa this October 14-17th? Register by September 30th to receive a special room rate at the Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel! 

The main forum will be held on Wednesday, October 15th and Thursday, October 16th. Keynote speaker, Kelly Church, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe, Michigan, will provide a look into invasive species and impacts to cultural life and the need for collaboration.

WAB is an opportunity for educating, sharing and disseminating knowledge about invasive species management (including weed management), regulatory issues and concerns about invasive species spread across and between all jurisdictional boundaries across Mexico, Canada and the United States. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER!

ISCBC Webinar Series Continues Success

Make sure to take part in the ISCBC's successful series of free educational webinars! One-hour webinars are offered monthly and cover topics of interest to a wide range of stakeholders working with invasive species, as well as the general public.

Recent webinars include "Key Aquatic Invasive Plants in the Pacific Northwest" by Dr. Sam Chan, Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist with Oregon State University, and "Growing for Diversity: Becoming PlantWise about Horticulturally Invasive Plants in BC" by Evan Rafuse, PlantWise Program Facilitator. If you missed these or other webinars, they are viewable online. We invite you to send your topic or speaker suggestions to

Whistler invasive plants could now get you a ticket

CBC News, July 29, 2014, by Charlie Cho: Whistler residents can now be fined $250 a day if they have invasive plants in their yards.

"Most invasives are quite pretty. Things like yellow-flag iris has a gorgeous yellow flower, and when you tell people it's invasive, they're sort of shocked," said Claire O'Brien, executive director of the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, in an interview with Stephen Quinn on The Early Edition.

O'Brien's group has been advocating for the bylaw banning invasive species, which was recently enacted by the Resort Municipality of Whistler. O'Brien said the fine will only be used a last resort. Their focus is on education.

"We have a pretty thorough website to help people identify whether something they have in their garden is invasive or not," she said.

7 invasive plants that could get you a $250 fine in Whistler: Scotch broom; Spanish broom; purple loosestrife; Japanese knotweed; yellow-flag iris; flowering rush; and Himalayan blackberry.

Clemson scientists: Kudzu can release soil carbon, accelerate global warming, July 22, 2014: CLEMSON — Clemson University scientists are shedding new light on how invasion by exotic plant species affects the ability of soil to store greenhouse gases. The research could have far-reaching implications for how we manage agricultural land and native ecosystems.

In a paper published in the scientific journal New Phytologist, plant ecologist Nishanth Tharayil and graduate student Mioko Tamura show that invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere.

Since soil stores more carbon than both the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined, the repercussions for how we manage agricultural land and ecosystems to facilitate the storage of carbon could be dramatic. READ MORE

Wildlife corridors sometimes help invasive species spread, UF research finds

University of Florida News, Aug. 6, 2014: GAINESVILLE, Fla. – When the ants come marching in, having miles of linked habitats may not be such a good idea after all.

In a classic example of the law of unintended consequences, new University of Florida research suggests that wildlife corridors – strips of natural land created to reconnect habitats separated by agriculture or human activities — can sometimes encourage the spread of invasive species such as one type of fire ant.

The findings are particularly important in Florida, where invasive species are a vexing problem. The Sunshine State plays host to animals such as Cuban tree frogs, green iguanas and feral hogs. In 2013, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission even sponsored a Burmese python hunting challenge. READ MORE

Confronting the threat of invasive ‘ecosystem engineers’

Ecologist, Aug. 26, 2014, by Jodey Peyton & Helen Roy: Mussels, crabs, hornets and ... racoons? Future invasive species are not what you might expect. In particular, we have to beware of 'ecosystem engineers' that can transform the environment they inhabit, creating ecological havoc for other species.

Britain, like many countries, has already witnessed the establishment of many non-native species of plants and animals, and about 15% have become problematic and so termed 'invasive'.

Some were deliberately introduced, for example plants brought for their attractive flowers such as giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), while others have stowed away on ships or escaped from captivity.

These new arrivals can be considered one of the major threats to native biodiversity. Some prey directly on native species, compete for the same food or habitat, or bring with them diseases to which native species have no defence. READ MORE

Asian carp becomes animal feed

CBC News/The Associated Press, Aug. 14, 2014: When they arrive at the processing plant, the fish that have been cursed as a menace to American lakes and rivers are raked onto a conveyer belt, some of them still flopping.

Brought by the boatload to this facility north of St. Louis, the Asian carp quickly meet a gruesome fate: They are ground to a bloody pulp in a maze of machines that churn their bony bodies into dehydrated meal and fish oil.

A company called American Heartland Fish Products is the latest to venture into the small but growing business of carp-rendering, and their experiment offers another test of whether private enterprise can help reduce invasive species by turning them into food, be it for humans or more likely livestock. READ MORE

The Carbon Project to Help Online Invasive Species Monitoring

Directions Magazine (News Release) Aug. 28, 2014: The Carbon Project today announced it has been selected to help develop an online data exchange for invasive species monitoring.

The project, funded by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will feature tools to transform Michigan and US Great Lakes invasive species observations into standard, integrated datasets and online data services. The data services will be housed within the National Environmental Information Exchange Network and shared with users through the Great Lakes Information Network. READ MORE

Events Calendar

  • 19th Australasian Weeds Conference, Hobart, Tasmania, Sept. 1-4, 2014
  • Meeting the Challenge: Preventing, Detecting, and Controlling Invasive Plants Conference (PNW), Seattle WA, Sept. 16-17, 2014
  • Weeds Across Borders (WAB) Conference, Ottawa, Ontario Canada, Oct. 14-17, 2014
  • Bi-Annual IVMA Conference, Richmond, BC, Oct. 28-30, 2014
  • INVASIVES 2015: ISCBC Public Forum, AGM & 10th Anniversary, Jan. 20-21, 2015
  • 8th International Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Symposium, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 24 - 26, 2015 


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