Welcome to The Spread Newsletter from the Invasive Species Centre! 
We hope you are doing well in these times and are enjoying the changing of the seasons. We are excited to share upcoming events with you, including new webinars, an Asian Carp information session, and a new Municipal Invasive Species Community of Practice platform. 

We are continuing our efforts on forest, aquatic and plant pests, community science, outreach, invasive species management and economic analysis with our partners. We welcome your ideas, appreciate your partnerships and are always grateful for collaboration on new projects. Please contact us to discuss a potential project or with your questions on invasive species.

ISC Executive Director,
Oak wilt eDNA detected in Ontario
By: Mackenzie DiGasparro, ISC Policy & Program Development Coordinator

In 2020, a collaborative project team with members from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Natural Resources Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found oak wilt fungal eDNA in Ontario. Oak wilt is a vascular disease of oak trees, caused by the fungus Bretziella fagacearum. The fungus restricts the flow of water and nutrients through oak trees, which causes wilting foliage, and eventually leads to tree death. In 2019, insect traps used for sampling were placed in several locations near the US-Ontario border. Insects collected in the traps underwent genetic analysis to determine the presence of oak wilt fungal eDNA. 
Register for our upcoming webinars
Register now for our upcoming webinars! Join us in later this month for an update on beech leaf disease in Ontario and in November for new research from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada into new biological control methods for invasive plants!
ISC Annual Report for 2019-2020 now available!
Major projects included updated research on the economic impacts of invasive species to Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities, participation on 15 invasive species advisory committees, updating the ISC risk assessment database, seven provincial and federal policy responses, a new invasive species network mapping project, and support for six different invasive species research initiatives.

It was a privilege to work with a dedicated group of new and continued partners and collaborators this
year. Thank you for your commitment to keeping our lands and waters free from invasive species!
Agricultural pest on the rise: Brown marmorated stink bug
By: Alison Grant, ISC Community Outreach Summer Student

Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), or BMSB, is an invasive agricultural pest that is native to Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. It was first recorded in 2001, in the United States in Pennsylvania. Nearly a decade later it was detected in Canada in Hamilton, Ontario in 2010. Today, this invasive insect is established in four provinces in Canada (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta) and 46 states in the U.S.
 
Why does it matter? BMSB causes serious damage to over 35 fruiting crops (such as grapes, apples, peaches, corn and soy). Although, BMSB is not limited to just agricultural crops, it has been observed to feed on over 170 host species in North America such as buckthorn species, honeysuckle species, dogwood species, and maple species.
Spotted lanternfly is a border away: Help us keep it out
By: Kristin Palilionis, ISC Policy & Program Development Intern

A beautiful, bright red, showy invasive insect is making headlines in North America. It is known as the spotted lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma delicatula). It swarms by the hundreds to thousands, damages farm crops, and disrupts natural ecosystems. While it has not been found in Canada, we are concerned about the risk of introduction, as this notorious invasive species has been intercepted in two New York counties right across the border from Ontario’s Niagara region. 
Asian Carp Information Session: The Threat of Grass Carp to the Canadian Waters of the Great Lakes
Do you have questions about Asian carps? Are you concerned about how they could impact the Great Lakes if they were to establish? If so, then join us for an information session! This information session will focus on Grass Carp, one of the four species of Asian carps, and the one that poses the most immediate threat to the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

The event will consist of a presentation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada followed by a question and answer period with our panel of experts. Our panel is made up of representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the University of Toronto, the Invasive Species Centre and Ashley Rae, Angler, Fishing Content Creator, and Fishing Guide from SheLovesToFish.com!
Murder hornets: What's all the buzz about?
By: David Dutkiewicz, ISC Entomology Technician

If you’ve been following the news this summer, you’re sure to have seen mention of murder hornets

After isolated discoveries of this invasive species in British Columbia and Washington state, news about the Asian giant hornet has taken North America by storm — with good reason! Here’s the scoop: 

Asian giant hornets, also known as “murder hornets,” are one of the world’s largest hornet species. Queen Asian giant hornets grow to a size of five centimetres and have a wingspan of 7.5 centimetres. 

In Canada, the Asian giant hornet was first discovered in the Nanaimo, BC, region in September 2019. Researchers aren’t sure how the hornets got into Canada, but it’s possible they arrived from Asia through packaging material or hiding under imported gardening pots. 
How Collaboration Kept an Invasive Beetle at Bay
By: Liam Brechin, ISC Business Development & Communications Intern

Stories about invasive species often tell of the challenges that are presented to our natural landscapes. While it may seem overwhelming at times, there are many stories that are instead driven by the success achieved by overcoming these challenges. We find that these stories can be even more important to share. The efforts that lead to these success stories, like the one we are looking into with you today, not only safeguard our natural spaces, but also inform us about how to respond to future forest pests.

The Asian longhorned beetle has made inroads in North American and European forests in recent decades, gaining it the reputation of being quite the voracious tree-eating insect. In June of 2020, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was officially declared eradicated from the City of Toronto and Mississauga by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after a long management and eradication effort that began prior to the first detection of the insect in Ontario in 2003. 
Protecting Canadian Forests
Meet the ISC's Entomology Technician David Dutkiewicz! In this video David discusses the impacts that invasive insects have on Canadian forests. David mentions a few notable invasive insects including hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and the Asian longhorned beetle.
New spiny waterflea species profile
Spiny waterflea is a small aquatic predator native to Eurasia. The first report of spiny waterfleas in North America was in Lake Ontario in 1982. Spiny waterflea was introduced to the Great Lakes in ballast water from ocean-faring ships. It is a species of zooplankton – a small animal that relies on water currents and wind to move long distances. Spiny waterfleas prefer large, deep, clear lakes, but can also be found in shallower waters. Spiny waterfleas move to deeper, cooler waters during the day and swim towards the water surface at night to feed. They reproduce asexually, by cloning, and sexually, and can multiply very quickly. When they reproduce sexually, the eggs can survive through the winter on lake bottoms and can be transported long distances on boats or equipment if they stay moist. The main diet of spiny and fishhook waterfleas is other zooplankton.
Upcoming Event: Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference
The Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC) will take place as a digital event on November 2-6. UMISC is a biennial conference that addresses all taxa of invasive species.

The Invasive Species Centre is on board as a session sponsor and ISC team members Mackenzie DiGasparro, Lauren Bell and Rebecca Schroeder will be contributing talks on oak wilt, community outreach and Asian carps and a poster on quantifying investments in invasive species by Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities! Please check out our presentations and we look forward to speaking with you in the networking sessions!
ISC News & Updates This Quarter
Invasive Species Centre launches new community of practice for municipalities and conservation authorities to promote collaboration in the effort to prevent and manage invasive species 
In August, the ISC unveiled the Invasive Species Municipal Community of Practice (CoP)! The CoP provides an online peer-to-peer space to encourage collaboration among municipal and conservation authority representatives (members) involved in invasive species management at the local level. This is a virtual platform where members can integrate existing conversations – and spark new ones – around the best approaches to control invasive species and other pressing needs. If you work for a municipality of conservation authority and would like to register, or to find out more, click here.
Developing prevention and response plans for European water chestnut and water soldier under the Invasive Species Act, 2015
On September 15, 2020, Ontario finalized prevention and response plans for European water chestnut and water soldier. Input received during consultation led to minor modifications of the proposed versions. The ISC was involved and submitted policy recommendations during the comment period. To read more about the modifications to these plans following consultation, click here.
CIF & National Forest Week
The Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) had a busy month of September convening their annual conference and being the lead of the National Forest Week campaign. The ISC was a financial partner of the conference and contributed a talk on invasive species in forest ecosystems given by our Partnership & Science Manager, David Nisbet, and our Policy & Program Development Coordinator, Mackenzie DiGasparro. The ISC was also a financial supporter of National Forest Week and produced social media content throughout the week (Sept. 21 to 26). To read more about CIF, and the events, click here.
Report tree of heaven to help us understand its Ontario distribution
Throughout the month of October, we’re calling on Ontario residents to help report tree of heaven. Tree of heaven is an invasive tree found in Canada, that is also the primary host of the invasive pest spotted lanternfly. Tree of heaven will help advance the spread of spotted lanternfly by allowing the insect to reproduce and feed on the tree. Help us understand tree of heaven distribution by reporting sightings to eddmaps.org/Ontario.
NAISMA Annual Conference
During the week of October 5, the North American Invasive Species Management Association hosted their annual conference online. Along with 300 other delegates, the Invasive Species Centre, had the pleasure of listening to a number of remarkable talks given by invasive species researchers, management specialists and practitioners from across North America. The ISC's Executive Director, Sarah Rang contributed to a talk on the economic impacts of invasive species. Rebecca Schroeder, the ISC's Aquatic Invasive Species Liaison, spoke about the role of community outreach in invasive species management alongside Brook Schryer of OFAH's Invading Species Awareness Program. To learn more about NAISMA, and to see some of their work, click here.
Look out for wild pigs in Ontario
Wild pigs are known to be destructive, clever, and supremely adaptable and therefore compete with other wildlife for food and habitat. They are now considered invasive in Ontario. If you see a wild pig (e.g. any pig outside of a fence) or have information about a sighting, please report it to wildpigs@ontario.ca or to the iNaturalist app.If you would like to learn how to identify wild boars and understand what to do if you spot one click here.
Watercraft cleaning system deployed at Alberta’s McGregor Lake to prevent aquatic invasive species spread
An invasive snail of concern, commonly known as the Chinese mystery (Cipangopaludina chinensis) snail is believed to have been present in McGregor Lake since 2016. Boaters at McGregor Lake, Alberta now have access to a new a new tool to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species provided through Western Canada, including the Southern Prairies where the ISC has a project underway to protect aquatic species-at-risk from invasive species. This tool is an easy-to-use, self-serve, waterless cleaning system that assists watercraft users with cleaning, draining and drying their boat and equipment. This is the first time that this technology will be used in Canada. To read more about Chinese mystery snail click here.
European gypsy moth egg scraping contest
The summer of 2020 was a high year for European gypsy moth populations in Ontario, frustrating landowners, and drawing attention to this destructive and defoliating invasive insect. Scraping egg masses from trees this fall will help reduce populations for the 2021 season, which is expected to be another high year. To support this egg mass scraping effort, the ISC and Eastern Ontario Model Forest are holding a contest that aims to scrape more than exceeding 500 total egg masses across Ontario. We are one week into our contest and our community scientists have already exceeded that number and are striving towards a new goal of 5000! We’re calling on community scientists across Ontario to help us reach our new goal, and limit the spread of European gypsy moth, one egg mass at a time! Every 10 egg masses scraped = 1 entry! Submit the form and you are in the running for a customized YETI Rambler prize pack. For more information, click here.
Catch past ISC webinars
July - Collaborating to Restore Coastal Wetlands & Watersheds Through Invasive Phragmites Control (ft. NCC)
August - Forests Under Attack: The History, Dispersal & Management of Gypsy Moth (ft. CFS)
September - Ontario Invasive Species Enforcement Update (ft. OMNRF)
AND MORE!... TO VIEW THE WEBINAR SERIES ARCHIVE CLICK HERE.
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