Season’s Greetings from the Invasive Species Centre 
Hello, and happy holidays to all!

As we reflect on 2020, we would like to extend our thanks to our dedicated Board members, ISC team, partners, and supporters for a successful year of growth in invasive species action, outreach and innovation.

This year saw advancements in aquatic and forest invasive species prevention and management, invasive species policy development, and community science and action. Please check out our year in review highlights here.

We are excited to celebrate the ISC’s 10th anniversary milestone in 2021. Together with our partners we look forward to furthering our common vision of a Canada where land and water are protected from invasive species. Stay tuned for more information on our 10th anniversary plans!

With best wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday season,
Sarah Rang
Executive Director, Invasive Species Centre
Happy Holidays
We are wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.

Thank you for another amazing year of working together to help protect Canada's land and water from invasive species.

We look forward to continuing this important work and celebrating our 10-Year Anniversary in 2021.
Register for the Ontario Invasive Species Forum
The Invasive Species Centre is taking the 2021 Ontario Invasive Species Forum virtual.

We're looking forward to bringing invasive species partners, stakeholders and practitioners from across Ontario together to share information on the status of invasive species management. 

Here's what you need to know:
  • Date: Monday, March 1 – Thursday, March 4, 2021
  • Location: Via GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar 
  • Registration deadline: Monday, Feb. 22, 2021

The forum features sessions about a variety of topics, including Emerging Threats, Preparing for the Future/Risk Assessment and Celebrating Successes.

We also encourage you to share this event with your partners and colleagues. We’re looking forward to having a broad group of participants coming together to learn and share knowledge about invasive species management. 
Got hemlock?
A new invader on our doorstep has the potential to be as devastating to hemlock trees as emerald ash borer is to ash. Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is killing hemlock trees in the eastern US and in Nova Scotia and was recently found in Ontario in 2019.

A group of forest managers and others interested in managing and conserving hemlock in Ontario have formed a collaborative working group to prepare for the adelgid’s establishment in Ontario forests. Understanding the distribution of hemlock trees helps identify potential areas at risk for HWA infestations.

The Invasive Species Centre, in partnership with Silv-econ Ltd. are asking Ontario residents to report their hemlock stands or individual trees to help contribute to the provincial database.
Report your hemlock here
For all project inquiries please contact Kathleen Ryan at
Does European Gypsy Moth Want to Take a Bite Out of Ontario’s Maple Syrup Production? 
By: David Dutkiewicz, Entomology Technician, Invasive Species Centre |
Originally published by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association
European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) is an invasive forest pest that has been infesting North American forests since its introduction in Massachusetts by a French scientist in 1868.

At that time, the consequences of this introduction and the impacts it would create over the next 150 years were unknown. In the late 1890s, the first major forest outbreak of this invasive pest was recorded, and gypsy moth has been cycling through outbreaks periodically ever since.

Gypsy moth now spans across most of the Northeastern United States and into Ontario and Quebec. The range of gypsy moth has now expanded to the natural distribution of oak throughout Ontario and Quebec. While oak is the preferred host of the gypsy moth, it can survive and thrive off more than 300 different species of trees and shrubs, including maple, poplar, birch, white pine, and spruce.
First confirmed sighting of a new invasive in North America: elm zigzag sawfly
By: Sarah Sinon, Research Analyst Intern 
With its signature feeding pattern, the elm zigzag sawfly (EZS; Aproceros leucopoda) has begun its invasion into North America. The first confirmed detection of EZS in North America occurred in July, 2020 near Saint-Martine, Quebec by a citizen scientist who reported the signature ‘zigzag’ feeding pattern on the application. The sighting was later confirmed by experts from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 

Elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda, French common name tenthrède en zigzag de l’orme) is an invasive forest pest native to Asia, specifically parts of China and Japan. This invasive species can cause severe defoliation of elm trees (Ulmus spp.), which can have cascading impacts on forest ecology, the economy and societal values.
Did you know? Elm zigzag sawflies are strong fliers and can travel up to 90 km per year, which is a major contributing factor to their invasive potential (Blank et al. 2014).
With only one confirmed detection of this species in North America, EZS is in the early species arrival phase. The prevention of this species expanding across the continent starts with early detection and monitoring. Raising awareness about this species presence is the first step in protecting Canada’s elm trees.

If you think you see the elm zigzag sawfly, there are several ways to report:
  • Report suspected sightings to the Invading Species Awareness Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.
  • Send a photo of your sightings to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, including your location of sightings to
Welcome New ISC Communications Team Members
The ISC would like to welcome Lauren Rogers in the role of Digital and Multimedia Communications Coordinator, and Jill Thatcher in the role of Communications Coordinator.

Lauren grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, completed her undergrad in psychology from Algoma University and a post-grad in Public Relations from Niagara College. She was most recently a Communications Assistant at Niagara Health, and comes to the ISC with a solid mix of communications experience in the areas of social media, event planning, graphic design, videography and web design. She is our resident social media guru. In her spare time, Lauren loves reading, creative writing and visiting her favourite hiking spots.

Jill grew up in southern Ontario near Collingwood and has resided in the Sault since 2009. She completed her undergrad degree in Commerce (Marketing) at the University of Guelph, followed by post-grad studies in sports marketing and advertising communications. Over the years, Jill has taken personal interest courses including copywriting, textile design, printmaking and graphic design. She has balanced her time between communications related work and raising a family. 
Community of Practice 2021 Member Welcome Meeting
The Invasive Species Municipal Community of Practice (CoP) continues to engage municipal and conservation authority representatives (members) to encourage collaboration and conversations about invasive species management through our virtual CoP platform.

We have exciting content planned for 2021. If you are a municipal or conservation authority representative and would like to hear more, please register for our first event: Community of Practice 2021 Member Welcome Meeting on Friday, January 22 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. The link to register for the event, as well as the link to register for the CoP, can be found below. We look forward to meeting and engaging with our current and future members in the New Year.

See you in 2021! 
ISC News & Updates This Quarter
Updates from the Oak Wilt Wire
As part of a collaborative project between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Natural Resources Canada, oak wilt eDNA was identified in samples taken from insect collections in several Ontario sites. 

Beetle samples do not confirm a detection of oak wilt infected trees in Canada. A positive detection would require the finding of a symptomatic oak tree, confirmed with genetic analysis. 

The detection of oak wilt fungal eDNA confirms eDNA is working as an early warning system and that we must remain vigilant and protect our oaks. Surveys will be conducted in the vicinity of trap locations to ensure that there are no infected trees in adjacent areas. 

This finding offers a great opportunity to engage our communities and increase public awareness. Click here to sign up to the Oak Wilt Wire quarterly newsletter for the latest on oak wilt! 
Asian Carp Information Session
On October 21st, 2020 the Invasive Species Centre hosted a virtual information session. This information session focused 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 consisted of a presentation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada followed by a question and answer period with a panel of experts. The panel consisted 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! Click here to view the recording. 
Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference
The Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC) was hosted on November 2-6, and featured over 200 abstracts that resulted in many enjoyable and informative plenary, section specific, interdisciplinary, and symposium sessions. 

The Invasive Species Centre was a session sponsor and ISC team members Mackenzie DiGasparro, Lauren Bell and Rebecca Schroeder contributed talks on oak wilt, community outreach and Asian carps, and a poster on quantifying investments in invasive species by Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities.

Visit the UMISC webpage for more on the 2020 event. 
European Gypsy Moth Egg Scraping Contest Results
Earlier this year, we held a European Gypsy Moth (EGM) Egg Scraping Contest to help protect our forests and limit further EGM infestation. Citizen scientists from across Ontario helped reduce the impact of this destructive pest by scraping EGM eggs from their trees. 

Thank you to all those who participated, because of you, more than 12,000 egg masses were removed across the province, helping reduce future populations!  

Stay up to date with our Early Detection and Rapid Response Network, which aims to train and equip volunteers with the skills and resources needed to better detect and reduce invasive species. To learn more about our community action network and how you can get involved, visit our program page.
Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council Fall Meeting
The Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council (NSISC) hosted its 2020 Virtual Fall Meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. The NSISC made video submissions from participating groups and organizations public through their website on the morning of a group discussion via Zoom held during the following afternoon (12 noon until 3 pm). The afternoon discussion session was open to all NSISC members. Pop some popcorn, put your feet up and take some time to see the videos that our friends and members have put together for the Fall meeting. After a welcome message the videos then get into the latest information on invasive species and projects in Nova Scotia and an update from the ISC. See the video list here
Catch past ISC webinars
October - Update on Beech Leaf Disease in Ontario (ft. OMNRF)
November - New Biological Control Agents for Management of Invasive Plants in Canada (ft. UofT & AAFC)
December - Present Status and Update on the Management of Emerald Ash Borer in Canada (ft. CFS)
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