Diario del proyecto I Spy and Identify Invasives / Je vois, J’identifie les espèces envahissantes

Archivos de diario de marzo 2023

02 de marzo de 2023

Welcome to 2023: January Wrap-Up!

In January, the I Spy and Identify Invasives project made 6,969 observations of 1,142 species! 193 people observed and reported native and invasive species across Canada and our network grew by 20 new individuals (and counting) – a huge welcome to our new members! 

January’s reports included 618 observations of 160 different introduced and invasive species. The month’s totals included these concerning sightings: 

  • 6 observations of Chain tunicates (Botrylloides violaceus) on Vancouver Island. These tunicates grow rapidly in densely packed colonies and suffocate surrounding marine plants and animals. Chain tunicates originate from Asia, and likely arrived on the west coast of British Columbia through the movement of fishing gear, shellfish, and ships.
  • 1 observation of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in Okanagan Lake near Vernon, British Columbia. Eurasian watermilfoil was first observed in Okanagan Lake in the 1970’s, when it was likely introduced through the dumping of aquarium contents. 50 years later, this invasive plant is still found in the lake and surrounding waterbodies where it outcompetes native plant communities and reduces water quality.
  • 1 observation of a European green crab (Carcinus maenas) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve heard us talk about these invasive crabs before. European green crabs cause widespread destruction to eelgrass beds, a critical nursery habitat for juvenile salmon and herring. These invasive crabs were first found in Atlantic Canada in the 1950s and have more recently spread up and down British Columbia’s coastline from Haida Gwaii to Southern Vancouver Island. European green crab larvae spread through ballast water in ships, hitchhiking on boats and gear, and by drifting on ocean currents.

Numerous species at risk were also reported throughout January:

  • 1 observation of a Grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) off the coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Grey whales were commercially hunted to near extinction in the North Pacific in the 19th and 20th centuries, though populations have increased since being granted legal protection in 1937. Today, the main threats to Grey whales are entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes, and destruction of feeding habitat. During the summer months, Grey whales in BC are frequent visitors to eelgrass beds, where they feed on the eggs and larvae of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii). As invasive species like European green crabs spread along BC’s coasts, this critical habitat is threatened, creating a grim situation for whales and the broader ecosystem.
  • 2 observations of Yellow lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa) in Pottle Lake on Cape Breton Island. These freshwater mussels play a critical role in aquatic food webs, and are preyed upon by birds, fish, and other invertebrates. Yellow lampmussels are filter feeders, and improve water quality by filtering phytoplankton, micro-organisms, and bacteria from the water column. Threats to the Yellow lampmussel include destruction of habitat, declining water quality and the introduction and establishment of invasive Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha).

Thank you for your contributions to the I Spy and Identify Invasives Project! As the ice begins to melt, and we begin to spend more time on the water, remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boats and equipment to prevent the spread of invasive species. We can’t wait to see what you report in February. Stay warm out there, and happy iNatting!

Publicado el marzo 2, 2023 06:15 TARDE por invasive_species_council_of_bc invasive_species_council_of_bc | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de marzo de 2023

February Wrap-Up

In February, the I Spy and Identify Invasives project made 4,917 observations of 942 species. 193 people observed and reported native and invasive species across Canada and our network grew by 14 new individuals (and counting) – welcome to our new members!

February’s reports included 450 observations of 132 different introduced and invasive species. The month’s totals included these sightings:

• 2 observations of Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Hamilton, Ontario. Originating from Asia, this species feeds on ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) and has spread rapidly throughout Ontario. Emerald ash borers lay their eggs on ash trees, and hatched larvae tunnel under the tree’s bark, cutting off the flow of food and water and resulting in tree death. This invasive insect is easily spread over long distances by people moving infested firewood, lumber, and woodchips. Remember: buy and burn local firewood. Moving firewood, to or from a campground or cabin, can spread invasive species and diseases that destroy our forests and affect air and water. Protect our forests by keeping firewood local!
• 1 observation of Spongy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) in Hamilton, Ontario. Spongy moth is native to Europe, Eurasia, and North Africa and is now widespread in the Eastern United States and Canada. Spongy moth caterpillars feed on over 300 species of deciduous and coniferous trees and are capable of defoliating entire trees. These moths lay their eggs on flat surfaces, like tree trunks, shipping containers, and even vehicles, allowing them to spread to new areas. Remember to check your vehicles, trailers, and gear, and keep them clean to prevent Spongy moth and other invasive species from spreading to new areas.
• 1 observation of Hounds tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) in Calgary, Alberta. The leaves of Hound’s tongue resemble the shape of a dog’s tongue, hence the name. This invasive biennial can produce 2,000 – 4,000 barbed seeds per year that spread by clinging to clothing, livestock, and wildlife. Hand pulling these plants and removing flowering stems before seeds appear are the best ways to prevent this plant’s spread. Stop the spread of Hound’s tongue and other invasive species by practicing Play, Clean, Go.

The following species at risk were also reported throughout February:

• 1 observation of a Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) in Vancouver, British Columbia. Little brown bats are endangered in Canada, largely due to the invasive fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans that causes White-nose syndrome (WNS). This fungus thrives in cool, moist environments and infects hibernating bats by attacking their skin and damaging their wings. WNS can cause infected bats to wake up during hibernation and attempt to groom the fungus from their bodies, resulting in energy loss and eventual death by dehydration and starvation. This syndrome has not yet been observed in BC, but its risk of arrival is high. Humans can unintentionally spread the fungus that causes WNS, so it is critical to decontaminate clothing and equipment that have been in bat habitats (such as caves and mines).
• 1 observation of Dolly varden char (Salvelinus malma) near Telkwa, British Columbia. Dolly varden belong to the salmon and trout family, with members that are anadromous (living in both fresh and saltwater) or non-anadromous (freshwater only). Dolly varden populations are sensitive to habitat changes, including disruption of migration routes and sedimentation. Their populations have declined due to urbanization, dam construction, industrial activity, and overfishing. Are you an angler looking to learn more about protecting Dolly varden and other native fish habitats? Take our free Invasive-Wise Anglers course through our eLearning Centre today!

Thank you for your iNaturalist observations and reports. As we approach Invasive Species Action Month, we encourage you to brush up on your invasive species identification skills by taking our free online courses, such as Priority Marine Invasive Species and Priority Freshwater Invasive Species. Stay safe out there, and happy iNatting!

Publicado el marzo 27, 2023 03:35 TARDE por invasive_species_council_of_bc invasive_species_council_of_bc | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario