BC Invasive Species Month

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Take Action this May!

May is Invasive Species Action Month in BC

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Japanese Knotweed

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Spotted Knapweed

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Yellow Flag Iris

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Yellow Flag Iris removal

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Yellow Hawkweed

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Invasive Species

What are Invasive Species?

Invasive species are plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms from other parts of the world that do not naturally occur in an area, and that cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health.

Why Should We Care?

Invasive species are causing serious impacts all across BC, Canada, and worldwide.

  • Invasive plants can produce skin irritation, trigger allergies and poison pets and livestock.
  • Invasive plants can clog waterways, kill native trees, and shade out crops, ornamentals and native plants.
  • Invasive species cost Canada about 34.5 billion dollars annually.
  • In BC, just six invasive plants cost the province over $65 million in 2008. 
  • If zebra mussels were to become established in BC, the estimated cost of management is $22 million. 
  • According to the World Conservation Union, the spread of invasive alien species is the second most significant threat to biodiversity, next to habitat loss.
  • Invasive species are found in every habitat, including oceans, lakes, streams, wetlands, croplands, rangelands, natural areas, parks, forests, and even our yards and gardens. 

Here are some invasive species commonly found throughout British Columbia. 

Blueweed

Blueweed (Echium vulgare) is a biennial to short-lived perennial, and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Blueweed is commonly found on...learn more

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is a deciduous to semi evergreen shrub that grows up to 5 m tall. Until only recently, this species was celebrated for its robust...learn more

Canada Thistle

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a root-creeping perennial. Thickets of thistle crowd out forage grasses in pastures and rangelands, reducing crop yields and productivity.  ...learn more

Common Tansy

Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Common tansy is currently distributed in...learn more

Eastern Grey Squirrel

The Eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) may be cute and fuzzy to on-lookers, especially in the popular tourist areas of Stanley Park in Vancouver, but it is an invasive mammal...learn more

European Fire Ant

Appropriately named for its ‘fire’ like sting, the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) will attack aggressively if disrupted. When this ant attacks, it pinches down with...learn more

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), also known as “Giant Cow Parsnip,” is a perennial and currently distributed in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands, and central...learn more

Gorse

Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is a spiny, perennial evergreen shrub, considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, and thrives on sunny clearings with...learn more

Himalayan Blackberry

Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) is mostly a biennial plant, growing on disturbed sites, along roadsides and rights-of-ways, in pastures, along river and stream banks, fresh-water wetlands,...learn more

Hoary Alyssum

Hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana) is an annual to short-lived perennial. Considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, hoary alyssum is most...learn more

Hound’s-Tongue

Hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) is a biennial to short-lived perennial, and is considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Hound&rsquo...learn more

Knotweeds

Knotweeds (Polygonum spp.) are invasive perennials, with four species found in British Columbia: Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica); Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica);...learn more

Marsh Plume Thistle

Marsh plume thistle (Cirsium palustre) is a biennial and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. The majority of sites are...learn more

New Zealand Mudsnail

The New Zealand mud snail is a very tiny aquatic snail (often smaller than your baby fingernail) and is native to fresh waterbodies in New Zealand. The New Zealand mudsnail...learn more

Orange Hawkweed

Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) are perennial plants with 14 non-native species recorded in BC, and are difficult to identify among the 8 native hawkweed species. One of the 14 non-native...learn more

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a short-lived perennial that decreases forage for wildlife, decreases local plant biodiversity, and may compromise vegetative ground cover due to...learn more

Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a woody half-shrub, wetland perennial that has the ability to out-compete most native species in BC’s wetland ecosystems....learn more

Rush Skeletonweed

Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea) is a perennial and considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Found on rangelands, roadsides, and disturbed habitats...learn more

Rusty Crayfish

Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is a non-native invasive species that may have been intentionally introduced from a bait bucket release, a mercy release, or from an unintentional release...learn more

Scentless Chamomile

Scentless chamomile (Matricaria maritima) is an annual to short-lived perennial. Considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, scentless chamomile is commonly found...learn more

Scotch Broom

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is an escaped garden ornamental, common west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in southwest BC, and is concentrated at the southern end of...learn more

Spotted & Diffuse Knapweed

Spotted (Centaurea biebersteinii) and diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) are biennial to short-lived perennials, and considered regionally noxious under the BC learn more

Spurges (Leafy, Myrtle, Cypress)

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a perennial, considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, and commonly found at low- to mid-elevations on...learn more

Sulphur Cinquefoil

Sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta) is a perennial and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. It is commonly found on grasslands,...learn more

Tansy Ragwort

Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is a biennial to short-lived perennial. Considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, tansy ragwort grows in grazed pastures,...learn more

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus) is an eye-catching perennial that creates dense stands in wet areas, excluding native wetland species and threatening plant and animal diversity. Yellow...learn more

Zebra and Quagga Mussels

Zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) are fingernail-sized, freshwater mollusks that can easily attach themselves to objects and other organisms. They can clog...learn more