OFAH FILE: 842
May 13, 2009
Stop invaders – look before you leave!
Invasive species the focus of province-wide efforts, World Biodiversity Day
Travelers heading to outdoor adventures may unknowingly be carrying stowaways that threaten the health of Ontario’s forests and lakes. As cottagers, campers, boaters and anglers take to the outdoors again, they may be helping invasive alien species expand their range via a free ride on boats, fishing lines, bait buckets, and even firewood.
Non-native plant and animal species that lack natural controls such as predators, are able to spread rapidly. They have already had a significant economic and ecological impact, and there is no end in sight. The Invading Species Awareness Program, a partnership of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.), is working with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council to promote education and awareness of invasive species and how to stop the spread and prevent new invasions. Guidelines on how to prevent the spread can be found at www.invadingspecies.com.
This Victoria Day weekend, a crew will be on site at Emily Provincial Park situated northwest of Peterborough, to provide information to park visitors about invasive species. This is the first time invading species program staff have taken their message inside a provincial park, but if the pilot is well received, it may expand into other provincial parks over the summer.
Efforts to stem the invasion of alien species are not limited to Ontario. May 22, 2009 is World Biodiversity Day and the theme this year is invasive species. Next to habitat loss, invasive species are the leading cause of the global biodiversity crisis.
Summer travelers across the province are encouraged to “Look before you leave!” to ensure that they are not giving invasive species a free ride.
The Ontario Invasive Plant Council is a coalition of government, nongovernment, First Nations and academic institutions working together to respond to the growing threat of invasive alien plant species in Ontario. To learn more, visit www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca.
The O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program is the largest of its kind in Canada. It uses public education and awareness to prevent the introduction of new invasive species, and to stop the spread of those already here. For more information, visit www.invadingspecies.com
Media are invited:
What: Victoria Day weekend campsite visits by Invading Species Awareness crew
Place: Emily Park, north of Peterborough off County Road 10
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009
Time: 12:00-4:00 PM
Onsite contact: 705-761-1503
Media are invited:
What: To request demonstrations of how people can transport invasive species when they travel to an outdoor destination.
Place: Peterborough, Toronto, Barrie/Orillia
Time: Summer of 2009
Invasive Species Biologist & Manager
O.F.A.H. /M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program
(705) 748-6324 ext 238
Ontario Invasive Plant Council
(705) 748-6324 ext 234
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