Invasive Species Council of British Columbia | ISCBC Plants & Animals

ISCBC Enews March 2015

Hello from ISCBC!

With the arrival of spring, invasive species are sure to make their appearance, but little do they know about the newcomers on the scene to help. In this issue of our monthly enews, read about the new Alien Invader Challenge program for Girl Guides, learn about the new online database for invasive species impacting Canada's forests, and find out what invasive species is being harvested in BC as fish food. 

We hope you enjoy this month's enews. Keep in touch with us through Facebook, Twitter, and our website. 

The ISCBC Team

Girl Guides working to Stop Invasive Species in BC

ISCBC has teamed up with BC Girl Guides to create a new Alien Invader Challenge program that introduces girls and young women from age 5 to 18 to the harm that invasive species can cause and what they can do to limit their spread. 

“We partnered with BC Girl Guides to create a comprehensive program to raise awareness and promote positive behaviour change related to invasive species,” says Susan Staniforth, Education Manager of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). Read More

Delayed at Vancouver’s airport? Blame the ‘impressive fire ant’

National Post, Mar. 19, 2015, by Kelly Sinoski: The invasive fire ant continues to spread in the Lower Mainland, wreaking havoc on Vancouver airport runways and forcing CP Rail to burn the soil on the Arbutus corridor in attempts to eradicate them. Last summer, several planes hit birds feeding on the fire ants at YVR, forcing a series of short runway closures. Read More

New Website Protect Canada’s Forests

The Invasive Species Centre has launched a new website on invasive species in Canada's forests. Forest Invasives Canada provides a portal for information about invasive species that threaten Canada's urban and working forests and green spaces. The website features profiles of target species, recent research and management strategies, and in-depth discussions on the overall ecological, social, and economic impacts of invasive species in our forests. Read More

Green Teacher Webinar: Invasive Species: Towards a Deeper Understanding

Presented by Lisa Zinn and Jonathon Schramm on Thursday, April 9, 2015 4:30-5:30pm PST. This webinar will explore several myths often presented in teaching about invasive species, and the alternative teaching scenarios that can be used to dispel these myths, ultimately helping students understand deeper ecological principles. Register/Learn more

New Resource: World Register of Introduced Marine Species (WRIMS) Database

The World Register of Introduced Marine Species (WRIMS) database, just launched, records which marine species in the World Register of Marine species (WoRMS) have been introduced deliberately or accidentally by people to geographic areas outside their native range. It includes more than 1,400 marine species worldwide, compiled through the collaboration with international initiatives and study of almost 2,500 publications. There are 35 species that come up when searching Canada as a geographic boundary. Learn more  

Vernon company receives top recognition for harvesting an invasive species

Vernon Morning Star, Mar. 15, 2015: Harvesting an invasive species and turning it into fish food is making big waves for a Vernon company. Piscine Energetics was recently named business of the year and manufacturer of the year by the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Since 1997, Piscine Energetics has been removing mysis shrimp, an invasive zooplankton from Okanagan Lake, where it is harming the native kokanee fish stock. Read More

VIDEO: Alberta conducts invasive-species searches

Boaters crossing the border into Alberta soon will be greeted by dogs trained to sniff out invasive mussels. The provincial legislature voted to add mandatory inspections to the Alberta Fisheries Act.

“Aquatic invasive species are one of the largest threats facing Alberta’s waterways and biodiversity,” environment minister Kyle Fawcett said in a statement. Video/Read More

STUDY: Cane toad has surprise effect on Australian ecosystem

New Scientist, Mar. 20, 2015, Michael Slezak: The toxic cane toad introduced to Australia in the 1930s is causing ripples through the ecosystem in ways rarely seen when invasive species spread. We know that toads poison their predators, but this seems to allow other prey species to bounce back. It is a rare piece of solid evidence for an invasive species causing what is called a "trophic cascade" in the wild, researchers say, where killing off top predators has unexpected effects throughout an ecosystem. Read More

USDA provides $57.9 million to protect agriculture and plants from pests and diseases

Imperial Valley News, Mar. 19, 2015, by CDFA: Washington, DC - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $57.9 million in funding, provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), to support project suggestions from across the country to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests, diseases and pathogens, as well as to ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States. Read More

Cutting-edge tool to help predict impact of invasive species, Mar. 19, 2015: Researchers at the University of Waterloo have published results of a powerful new tool that could give ecologists new ways of tackling problems posed by deadly invasive species like Asian carp and Zebra mussels. Invasive species cost us more in environmental, economic, and health-care related damages than all other natural disasters combined. Read More

'You and I can stop the spread of invasive plant species in Canada'

Georgia Straight (BLOG), Mar. 11, 2015, by Albert Liu, Enoch Weng, and Mark Tan: The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Right now at this very moment, unbeknownst to you, we are under the threat of an alien invasion. These aliens have been living amongst us and have blended in perfectly—largely undetected by the general public. Read More

Mark your Calendars for INVASIVES 2016!


  • Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) AGM & Field Tour, Penticton, BC, April 28-29th, 2015
  • North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) Annual Conference 2015: Coast Hotel, Vancouver, BC. October 18-21, 2015
  • INVASIVES 2016: ISCBC's Forum & AGM, Feb. 2-3, 2016, Pacific Gateway Hotel, Richmond, BC

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Featured Resources

Field Guide to Noxious Weeds and Other Selected Invasive Plants of BC

Grow Me Instead Booklet (2018)