Invasive species: why the fuss?
Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms not native to BC whose introduction and spread harms the province’s native species and economy.
Most invasive species are unintentionally introduced by human activities into places outside their native habitat and, once they’re removed from natural predators and diseases they often reproduce, spread and survive better than native species.
With few limits on their populations they can easily take over sensitive ecosystems – permanently upsetting the balance of plant, insect, bird and animal life.
Invasive species in BC: often uninvited, always unwanted
People, goods and produce move widely and often carry uninvited species with them. These species are primarily introduced and spread by human activities, often unintentionally through:
- goods such as grocery produce, plant products, firewood, hay, or wood packaging
- vehicles such as aircraft, commercial and recreational boats
- discharging ballast water from large ships
- dumping garden debris containing invasive species into parks, open areas and ditches or planting invasive species as garden plants
Impacts on BC are significant
Invasive species are moving across BC and Canada at an aggressive pace with far-reaching impacts on human, economic and environmental health. The negative impact on BC ecosystems can be extremely difficult to reverse which is why prevention and detailed information on the impacts is critically important for the health of our province.
ISCBC taking action
We’re a leader amongst non-governmental organizations, serving as the province’s prime source of information as well as taking action on invasive species in BC by bringing together experts, volunteers, governments, industry and other partners to offer programs such as:
- Outreach and Education – raising awareness to encourage behaviour change with activities that include a spotter’s network; clean, drain, dry program for boaters; and community weed pulls.
- Training – programs for public and private sector clients include training for Adopt-A-Highway volunteers.
- Operation – the Hot Spots program managed invasive species in more than 270 communities, hiring unemployed resource workers and giving them new skills.
- Research – coordinating research news through a searchable online database of projects and publications completed by BC researchers.
The ISC defines the term “invasive species” as any non-native organism that cause economic or environmental harm and can spread quickly to new areas of BC.
Invasive species are impacting British Columbia in the following ways: Economic, Environmental, Social
Invasive species and plants are introduced and spread in a variety of ways.
Within British Columbia, there are multiple levels of authority with jurisdiction over the management of invasive species.