Invasive species are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide.
They can out-compete a diversity of native species, taking over entire sections of your property. They also pose threats to human and animal health, fuel wildfires, and devalue property. You can help to stop the spread of invasive species.
Common Invasive Species to Watch for on Your Island Property
Garden with Native Species
Before you plant a new species in your garden, think about the effects it might have on the ecosystem. Most plants in conventional nurseries are not native to our region, and some can become invasive.
Despite the best intentions of confining plants to gardens, non-native plants like ivy, holly, periwinkle and yellow flag iris readily spread into our islands’ environments, destroying the local wild beauty and biodiversity.
Consider gardening with native species for an attractive, low-maintenance, eco-friendly alternative.
Control Invasive Species
You can unknowingly carry invasive plant seeds and roots onto your property in gardening soil and fill, and on vehicle tires, clothing, shoes, and pets. The most likely places you’ll find invasive plant infestations starting are roadsides, trails, and utility corridors.
Control infestations by pulling or cutting invasive species. Some species are poisonous to humans, and others need special care when handling so we don’t cause further spread.
Take care to research the species you’re dealing with and the best ways to handle them.
Tips for Managing Invasive Species
- Wear protective clothing and gloves
- Take action in late fall to early January so you don’t trample sensitive native species
- Focus first on isolated patches to prevent further spreading. Then, work on larger patches starting at the outside and working in to contain further infestations
- Don’t compost pulled or cut invasive species. Check with your regional district for information on how residents can responsibly dispose of invasive plant material
The following organizations and programs provide detailed information about invasive species to watch for, and steps to removing them from your land.
- Habitat Acquisition Trust’ Invasive Plant Guide
- Invasive Species Council of BC
- BC’s Invasive Alien Plant Reference Guide
- Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team’s webpage on restoration