Removing Invasive Species and Contributing to Community Science

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Caring for our nature reserves involves a wide range of actions, from preventing invasive species establishment to restoring habitats and conducting species surveys. However, despite our efforts, invasive species are persistent and can find way to establish themselves.

One of the most effective ways to engage people in conservation is hosting invasive species removal events. Invasive species removal is a key part of management on our nature reserves as they out-compete native flora and fauna. They are often seen in large monoculture ‘patches’ and can quickly take over, resulting in biodiversity loss.

A monoculture of Periwinkle (Vinca minor) © Robert Sproule
A monoculture of Periwinkle, purple flower
A monoculture of Periwinkle (Vinca minor) © Robert Sproule
Ron, a member of York Simcoe Nature Club, removing periwinkle from a dense patch in the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve forest © Keeva Fitzpatrick

In 2021, we removed 180 buckthorn shrubs using Extractigator® devices and 88 kilograms of periwinkle plants through manual pulling at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve. By pulling these non-native species, we broke up the monoculture persistence of each invasive, slowing its spread and allowing native species to establish themselves.

Volunteers holding their Extractigator® prior to removing common buckthorn in a restoration field at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve © Smera Sukumar

Although invasive species removal remains a priority on our nature reserves, getting out with the community to learn about nature and enjoy our properties is equally important. In July of 2021, we invited our supporters and members to our Butterfly Identification Workshop at Ontario Nature’s Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve.

James Kamstra explaining common Lepidopteran traits prior to the capture of any insects © Keeva Fitzpatrick

We hope you’ll join us in the field this year! Visit our events page for more information on upcoming events or subscribe to our email list so that you don’t miss an opportunity to get involved.

Also, if you want to learn more on how to tackle common invasive species in your backyard and promote native species, visit the Invasive Species Centre website for helpful resources.

The invasive species removal event was made possible with the generous help from Dillon Consulting and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. The butterfly hike was made possible by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

TD Friends of the Environment logo
Dillion Consulting logo
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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