Welcome to the Invasive Species Centre
Welcome to the Invasive Species Centre's newsletter! I hope you get a chance to enjoy the summer season in all its glory, especially welcome after our unusual experiences this spring. For me, it's been a chance to treasure the outdoors, including neighbourhood walks with house-bound teenagers, and re-emphasize the importance of our nature connections and mission to keep our lands and waters protected from invasive species. 

Business continues at the Invasive Species Centre, as we work remotely and adjust our in-person events to virtual workshops. Please join us in our free monthly webinar series, as we host key partners and top notch invasive species experts in lively discussions on current management practices. 

We also would like to thank our many partners for their continuing support of the programs of the Invasive Species Centre, including most recently, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Our ISC work to catalyze action, share knowledge and grow investments in invasive species management, is made possible with this support.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for the programs at the Invasive Species Centre or would like to discuss a partnership or project. Wishing you and your family all the best this summer season.
New look, enhanced information!
It's official. We're excited to announce that our redesigned website is now live! Explore to find all that our previous site had to offer and more! We have new pages and features designed to enhance your experience in learning about invasive species, accessing technical information, reporting, finding events and getting news. Some of our new pages include a best management practices database, impacts of invasive species on species at risk and municipal assets, and new and improved species profiles! Keep an eye out for features, updates and announcements that will be added regularly!
Catch our upcoming webinars
Register now for our upcoming webinars! Join us in August for an overview of European Gypsy Moth and in September for an update on enforcement of Ontario's invasive species legislation!
New best management practices database
Summertime yard work is upon us... Luckily, we have a new resource for landowners and practitioners! The Best Management Practices (BMP) Database provides a collection of easily accessible resources on various invasive species in Canada. It is a tool that includes best management practices, response plans, management plans, and action plans to help individuals and organizations manage terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.
Japanese stiltgrass detection in Short Hills Provincial Park
Japanese stiltgrass is an annual grass native to temperate climates in southeastern Asia. It was first introduced to North America when it was used as packing material in the 1900s. A small population was recently confirmed in Southern Ontario. Enjoy this webinar, courtesy of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) giving an overview of the CFIA's Invasive Plants Program, which focuses on detection and monitoring of Japanese Stiltgrass in Short Hills Provincial Park in the Niagara, Ontario region. Japanese stiltgrass can create dense stands that dominate habitats and produce large amounts of seed. These seeds can survive in the seed bank for long periods of time before sprouting and are easily spread along trails by hikers or pets.
Could there be an invasive species in your backyard?
By: Lauren Bell, ISC Education & Community Outreach Coordinator

The changing of the seasons in Canada brings back some of our most beloved species. Migratory birds fly back north, our gardens come alive and buds reappear on the trees. As spring turns to summer, the warming weather can also bring some less-than-desirable species, including invasive species. 

While invasive species management varies across a landscape as large as Canada, one thing remains constant: the earlier you detect an invasive species, the better! Summer is an excellent time to survey your yards and local parks for potential invasive species. There’s no time like now to grab a cell phone or clipboard and a camera and get started!
A Year of Gypsy Moth
The European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar L.) is native to Europe and is currently established in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. You may find the insect in portions of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. European gypsy moth is not established in the western provinces. In order to prevent populations like those seen in the Eastern Canada from taking hold, aerial spraying sometimes takes place between April and June, paired with active monitoring. This year, in Ontario, from across Southern and Eastern Ontario, reports are pouring in of unusually high numbers of European gypsy moth. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on foliage of a wide range of hardwood and some softwood trees. The gypsy moth has over 300 known host plant species. 150 of which are preferred hosts. Some of its favoured host tree species include oak, maple, birch, alder and hawthorne.
What we're reading
Alsip, P.J., Zhang, H., Rowe, M.D. et al. (2020). Modeling the interactive effects of nutrient loads, meteorology, and invasive mussels on suitable habitat for Bighead and Silver Carp in Lake Michigan. Biological Invasions.
Snyder, M.R., Stepien, C.A., et al. (2020). Detecting aquatic invasive species in bait and pond stores with targeted environmental (e)DNA high-throughput sequencing metabarcode assays: Angler, retailer, and manager implications. Biological Conservation.
Clifton, E.H., Hajek, A.E., Jenkins, N.E., et al. (2020). Applications of Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) to Control Populations of Spotted Lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), in Semi-Natural Landscapes and on Grapevines. Environmental Entomology.
What we're watching
ISC Webinar (ft. DUC Ontario) - Controlling the spread of European water chestnut and parrot feather in Ontario
ISC Webinar (ft. OFAH) - Water soldier (Stratiotes aloides) eradication efforts in Ontario
ISC Webinar (ft. NCC) - Collaborating to restore coastal wetlands through invasive phragmites control
ISC Webinar (ft. Penn State Extension) - Spotted Lanternfly: Impacts and research from the USA & perspectives from Ontario
Alberta Invasive Species Council Webinar - Feral pig and rat eradication in Alberta
NAISMA Webinar Series - National Invasive Species Awareness Week
Invasive Species Council of BC Webinar - Grass gone bad: new invasive species of concern to BC's grassland
CIF-IFC E-Lecture Series - Partnerships though citizen science: success stories and solutions
WWF Canada Webinar Series - Garden for wildlife
TVOKids' Fishheads Explorer Club! - Border Patrol

In August 2019, we took part in the filming of an Asian carps episode on TVO Kids' new show, Leo's Fishheads! Our segment of the episode was filmed in the Asian carps exhibit of the Toronto Zoo. Becca, our Aquatic Invasive Species Liason and Asian Carps Project Manager, got to take part in the action! The episode aired on June 18 and you can watch it in full by clicking on the video box above. We'd like to thank TVOKids', Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Toronto Zoo and all involved for putting together one fun episode! High-fin!
New team members welcomed
Meet Tracey and Alison!

This June, the ISC was fortunate to welcome two new team members to take on the roles of Aquatic Specialist and Community Outreach Summer Student!

Tracey will be working on a collaborative project between the Invasive Species Centre and Fisheries and Oceans Canada within the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Tracey is currently working on socio-economic risk assessments for priority aquatic invasive species specific to the region with impacts to critical habitat and species at risk. She comes to us with a wealth of experience in natural resource management, conservation and policy.

Alison is a recent graduate of the Natural Environment Technologist program at Sault College. She has previous work experience as a research assistant with Agriculture Canada that provided her with experience with various invasive agricultural pests, specifically the brown marmorated stink bug. She is currently enrolled in Algoma University’s Environmental Science program and will be working on digital content, community outreach and program support this summer!

We’re excited to have Tracey and Alison as part of the team!
Most recent alma mater?
- York University

Least favourite invasive species?
- European Buckthorn  

Favourite leisure activity?
- Yoga!
Current institution?
- Algoma University

Least favourite invasive species?
- Giant Hogweed  

Favourite leisure activity?
- Hiking & biking!
Invasive Species Centre
News This Quarter
Science North receives national awards for Northern Ontario science outreach

We would like to send a sincere congratulations to Science North and all partners involved in science festivals across Northern Ontario on receiving the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) Best Program Award for the Northern Ontario Science Festivals Program at the Annual CASCADE Awards Banquet! The Invasive Species Centre has been a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival Planning Committee since it started in 2015, and it’s been an honour to work with Science North and the other Sault Ste. Marie committee members to bring science to our community each year. 

We would also like to congratulate Science North for receiving the Best Exhibition or Show Award for the THINK (Tinker, Hack, Innovate, Network, Know) hub project and Nicole Chiasson of Science North for earning a Career Achievement award! Congratulations all! We are proud to be a part of it. 
Invasive Species Centre project receives Ontario Trillium Foundation funding for Eastern Ontario expansion

The Invasive Species Centre is pleased to announce new funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to engage communities in environmental protection in the Eastern Ontario's Quinte, Kingston and Rideau area with our valued partners at the Ontario Invasive Plant Council and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest. The Ontario Trillium Foundation has committed $258,500 over the next two years to help increase community participation in ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts in Eastern Ontario.

Sign up to join the network!
Invasive Species Centre board of directors welcomes new expertise

We are pleased to announce the appointments of Nicola Crawhall of Westbrook Public Affairs and Jane Gilbert of Nature Conservancy of Canada to the Invasive Species Centre Board of Directors. With backgrounds in public affairs and communications respectively, Nicola and Jane bring years of leadership and knowledge mobilization experience that will benefit ongoing invasive species initiatives. Nicola and Jane join the nine-member Board along with representation from environmental non-profits, the academic sector, the municipal sector, and Indigenous communities.
The International Year of Plant Health
In April, we partnered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to promote Invasive Plant Pests and Invasive Species through our digital platforms. Some highlights from the month included plant health social media content that reached over 115,000 individuals, a plant health-themed blog post on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Land Lines blog, and a special #IYPH2020 edition of The Spread

Check out the links and search for #IYPH2020 and #PlantHealth online to learn about the importance of plant health, invasive species that impact plant health, and ways that we can all get involved!

You can also follow the IYPH mascot, Beastie the Bug, on his journey around the world!
The Invasive Species Centre thanks Ontario for their invasive species investment

The Ontario government is protecting the province from the harmful ecological, social and economic effects of invasive species by investing $850,000 in the Invasive Species Centre to support important ongoing research into prevention, early detection, control and eradication of invasive species across the province. “Investing in the Invasive Species Centre is an investment in prevention, which is the most effective approach for managing invasive species and vital to the preservation of Ontario’s natural resources in the long-term,” said MPP Romano. “The Centre does vital work, and we are pleased to be working together with them.”
Asian longhorned beetle declared eradicated from the cities of Toronto and Mississauga

After 5 years of surveillance in the region with no detections, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has been declared successfully eradicated from Mississauga and Toronto! ALB was intercepted 32 times at Canadian ports of entry between 1980-2008. Efforts from citizen scientists and quick Canadian Food Inspection Agency response kept us ahead of ALB until 2003 when a population was discovered in Toronto. Following detection many trees were removed and for 5 years the region was surveyed during a multiagency effort which included partners . In April 2013, eradication was declared, but in August 2013, another ALB population was found near Pearson Airport by a citizen. In June 2020, after much effort from partners, successful eradication was declared. But efforts to protect our forests, including our maples, continue.

"The Invasive Species Centre celebrates the successful eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle, an insect pest with potential to cause large impacts to our community trees and forests. It's a tribute to the collaboration of federal, provincial, and municipal governments and organizations that we have achieved this important milestone to protect our lands from this invasive species", said Sarah Rang Executive Director of the Invasive Species Centre.

Want to learn more about ALB in Canada? Enjoy an interactive story map created by University of Toronto Scarborough Master's students for the Invasive Species Centre.
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