The Invasive Species Centre has launched a comprehensive new website on invasive species in Canada’s forests. Forest Invasives Canada (www.forestinvasives.ca) provides an easily-accessible portal for information regarding the invasive species that threaten Canada’s urban and working forests and green spaces. The website features profiles of target species, recent research and management strategies, and in-depth discussions on the overall ecological, social, and economic impacts of invasive species in our forests.
“Invasive pests are a serious threat to the health of our forests and urban green spaces,” said Dr. Taylor Scarr, Provincial Forest Entomologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “These species have the capacity to devastate entire ecosystems if appropriate management strategies are not implemented. Programs and policies to combat invasive species must be early, aggressive, and sustained.”
Targeting a broad audience, the website provides viewers with instructional videos, webinars, outreach materials, current news, and information from invasive species experts. Visitors to the website can learn about invasive species that threaten trees and forests, including the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, mountain pine beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, and beech bark disease. With opportunities for a scan or deep dive, the website offers introductory information to viewers who want to learn about invasive species for the first time, as well as technical and scientific information for those interested in exploring the topic in greater detail.
Dilhari Fernando, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Centre, said, “To prevent and control the spread of invasive species that harm Canada’s environment, economy and society, it is important that we make credible information easily accessible to multiple users. TheForest Invasives website will consolidate and disseminate information to a broad audience, ranging from experts to homeowners, and facilitate the timely sharing of new information.”
Forest Invasives Canada will increase awareness of the threats posed by invasive species, and provide knowledge and information that will empower citizens to identify invasive species and stop the spread. If an invasive species enters a suitable forest habitat, and is undetected and unregulated, it can become established in the environment and spread uncontrollably across the landscape. Left unchecked, this can cause immeasurable impacts to our economy, ecology, and social values. Invasive species introductions are commonly regarded as the second greatest threat to global biodiversity, next to habitat loss. Forest Invasives Canadaprovides tools to help everyone protect the biodiversity in our forests.