What should I do if I determine that I have an invasive plant on my property?
You are required by law to manage
noxious invasive plants on your property. Many plants are controllable through mechanical methods (hand pulling, digging, grazing, mowing) but in some cases you may need to use herbicide. In some cities there are by-laws prohibiting the use of herbicide to control weeds; when this is the case,
noxious invasive species are excempt.
How do I report invasive species?
The easiest way to report an invasive species is by using the Report-A-Weed app using your iPhone or Android phone. Reporting with the app sends your information directly to the IAPP mapping and reporting system and it is then directed to the correct regional councils.
I'm confused by all the definitions, can you explain what an invasive species actually is?
To understand what an invasive species is, you must first understand the difference between an exotic species and a native species. An exotic species is any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that habitat. Other terms sometimes used for exotic species include “non-native.” “non-indigenous,” and “alien.” A native species is a species that, other than as a result of an introduction, historically occurs/occurred in that particular habitat.
An invasive species is an exotic species whose introduction into an ecosystem in which the species is not native causes, or is likely to cause, environmental or economic harm or harm to human health. It is important to note that when we talk about a species being invasive, we are talking about ecosystem or environmental boundaries, not political ones.
A noxious weed is an invasive plant that is legislated under the BC Weed Control Act.
Are all exotic or introduced species considered invasive?
No, not all exotic species are invasive. In many cases, a species not native to an area is not adapted to it. If you introduced African elephants to the Yukon - they likely would not survive. Likewise, many typical garden vegetables are not native to BC yet they grow without becomming invasive. In other cases, however, a new species can do well in a new habitat, such as zebra mussels introduced to the Great Lakes or knapweed on agricultural land.
How do I know if a species has potential to become invasive?
Although there is not one specific trait or a specific set of traits common to all invasive species, there is a suite of traits that invasive species often have. Not all invasive species will have all of these traits, but most invasive species seem to have one or more:
- High rate of reproduction
- Pioneer Species (able to colonize areas after they have been disturbed)
- Short generation times
- High dispersal rates
- Single-parent reproduction
- Vegetative or clonal reproduction
- High genetic variability
- Broad native range / Tolerant of wide range of conditions / Habitat generalist (can live in many different types of habitats)
- Abundant in native range
- Broad diet
- Phenotypic plasticity (the ability to alter growth form to suit current conditions)
- Human commensal (lives in close association with humans)
What did the alien dandelion say to the Earth dandelion?
Take me to you weeder!