Coastal Invasive Species Committee

   December 2013 E-Newsletter

I -   Coastal ISC News and Updates
II - Upcoming Events
III -Peo
ple in Action
IV - Regional News
V -   BC and International News
VI - Resources and Tidbits

Photo: American Bullfrog

I -  Coastal ISC News and Updates

"Oh, by gosh, by golly it's time for mistletoe and holly. Tasty pheasants, Christmas presents, countrysides covered in snow." This holiday song by Frank Sinatra, Henry Sanicola and Dok Stanford is a familiar one that reveals how imagery and tradition play a role in holiday celebrations.   Green and red foliage and finery adorn homes, streets and businesses.  While it may be custom to hang mistletoe above a door to share a kiss or to decorate with holly boughs; when does a tradition make way for new customs?

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) has been used since the days of early Pagans, when it was brought into homes to keep evil spirits away. However did you know that the berries are toxic, causing vomiting and nausea in adults?  Not only that but this plant can re-grow from cuttings left on the ground and each red berry holds 10 seeds, which can easily sprout to become new plants in our area.  Holly is considered an invasive plant due to its ability to quickly outcompete native species and is listed as a Priority Plant within the Coastal ISC management area; a quick search shows that there is 338 hectares of Holly to manage!  And field crews have been progressively removing Holly from Helliwell Provincial Park, where only 5 years ago, this invasive plant occupied 30% of that forest!   

So if you do decide to use Holly for decorations, please be sure to keep well away from children and pets and make sure to dispose of in the garbage and do not compost!  Alternatively start a new tradition by using some of the evergreen trees such as Douglas Fir or Hemlock boughs for great decorations.  

Coastal ISC staff are busy wrapping, not presents, but rather wrapping up field projects and reports.  Its that time of year to reflect back on the year and look forward to the new year; and we eagerly anticipate the ISCBC's annual forum in Richmond, which is a great opportunity to network and hear about the latest in invasive species news.

We wish you warm greetings for the holiday season and a Happy New Year!


II - Upcoming Events

Jan. 21-22, 2014, ISCBC Public Forum & AGM: Invasives 2014, in Richmond, BC Registration is now open! 
February 3-6, 2014, A joint meeting between the Weed Science Society of America and the Canadian Weed Science Society (CWSS),in Vancouver, BC 
February 4-6, 2014,  Northwest Stream Restoration Symposium, in Steveston, Washington
February 12-14, 2014, The 66th annual Association of BC Forest Professionals Conference and AGM, in the Okanagan

III - People in Action

Public to take lead for invasive plant council
by John Gleeson/Staff Writer, October 27, 2013
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) will look to the public to take the lead in establishing an invasive species council for the region, directors agreed last week. After the board decided a year ago that some kind of coordinating body was needed, staff presented draft terms of reference for a non-profit Sunshine Coast Invasive Species Council at the Oct. 17 planning and development committee meeting. The approach, however, did not fly with Gibsons alternate director Lee Ann Johnson, who called it confusing.  Read more here
Working Together to protect BC from Invasive Species Video
by Motiontide Media, Published March 11, 2013
Invasive species threaten British Columbia. Regional Councils across the province are doing their part to protect British Columbia's natural heritage, the economy, and the health of its people. The regional committees across BC thank their partners for making this possible. Watch the video here
IV - Regional News

Invasive Battle
by Linda Aylesworth, Global News, August 22, 2013
Herbicide has been deployed right in BC water at Roberts Bank and Boundary Bay to battle against a particularly nasty invasive aquatic species called Spartina. Watch the video here

Victoria scientists seek the genetic kill switch for invasive plants
By Edward Hill, Victoria News, November 22, 2013  
Controlling invasive plants in Greater Victoria has often been a choice between years of hard manual labour or years of chemical treatment. Two University of Victoria biology graduates are developing a third option – a biotechnology that could flick a "kill" switch within a plant's genetic code. Potentially, the treatment could precision target specific invasive species, and without harming neighbouring native plants or animals. Read the full story here
V -  BC and International News

Worksafe Toxic Plant Warning for Spurge Laurel
WorkSafe BC has issued a Toxic Plant Warning for Spurge laurel (Daphne laureola), an invasive plant that grows along roadsides, moist woods, and lowland areas of southern British Columbia. Almost all parts of the plant are highly poisonous to people and pets. The leaves, bark, and berries.... Read more here
Taste invaders: Chefs dish up invasive species at Philomath dinner
By Anthony Rimel, Corvallis Gazette-Times, August 26, 2013
Frog leg potato salad. Feral pig bratwurst. Pulled wild turkey.
In other words — not your average meal. All of these unusual foods were available to diners at the Invasive Species Cook-off, which was held Sunday afternoon at Chintimini Farm in Philomath. The event, which was organized by the Institute for Applied Ecology, featured catered meals and a cooking competition that both used invasive species. Read more here
Next-Generation Gene Sequencing Can Identify Invasive Carp Species
by Science News, Science Daily, October 17, 2013
A project to map the microbes present in the digestive systems of fish species holds promise for monitoring the presence of Asian carp in Chicago area waterways and ultimately preventing their spread, according to a study published in Nature's ISME Journal.  Read more here
Invasive aquatic species in Bay of Fundy being investigated
by CBC News, October 29, 2013
Federal scientists are investigating invasive species in the Bay of Fundy this week.
Biologists Benedikte Vercaemer and Dawn Sephton, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Aquatic Invasive Species program, are looking for creatures that can clog a harbour or shut down a business.  Read more here

Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive

by UBC News, October 17, 2013
The ability of invasive plants to rapidly adapt to local climates – and potentially to climate change – may be a key factor in how quickly they spread.
According to new research published in Science by University of British Columbia evolutionary ecologist Rob Colautti, rapid evolution has helped purple loosestrife to invade, and thrive in, northern Ontario.  Read more here
10 Nasty Invasive Species the U.S. Exports
by Tim Wall,  October 18, 2013  
We hear a lot about invasive species in the United States, but we also do our fair share of exporting species that damage ecosystems around the world.
Many of these made-in-the-U.S.A. animals start as seemingly innocuous pets. Others escape from farms. All of them out-compete native species and prosper in the lands they invade. Read more here

How Google Street View Could Fight Invasive Species
By Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience Contributor, October 20, 2013
Google's online street views could help scientists track and fight invasive species over the Internet, researchers say.  Mapping where species are in the world is key to monitoring native and invasive organisms. However, collecting this data can be quite an expensive and time-consuming task.
Read more here
Study challenges prevailing view of invasive species
by University of Wisconsin, October 24, 2013
Zebra mussels. Asian carp. Kudzu. Chances are you recognize these names as belonging to invasive species — plants or animals that are relocated from their native habitat to a foreign land, only to prove so prolific that they take over their new home. Except that's not how the story usually goes, according to a new study.  Read more here 

How robots, apps and 'invasive species' sushi can help the oceans

by Anna Clark, Greenbiz, October 21, 2013
Oceans are the source of 70 percent of the world's oxygen and the primary source of protein to over 2 billion people. Covering three-quarters of the earth's surface, this vast resource so vital to human life is imperiled. Biodiversity plays a major role in keeping marine ecosystems alive, but more than half of fish species are at risk of collapse as early as 2048. Read more here 

VI - Resources and Tidbits

Invasive Plant Blues with The Back Acres Band
YouTube Video, submitted as a Public service announcement from the Alaska Association of Conservation Districts. Watch here  
Peoria Carp Hunters
YouTube Video.  Don't try this at home! Asian Carp have overrun the Illinois River in Peoria.Water skiing CARP HUNTERS with swords and a wolverine claw, take matters into their own hands.  Watch here
Gypsy Moths All Ova Da Place
YouTube Video. Young Ontarians rap about Gypsy Moths. Watch here
Knotweed Best Management Practices in Ontario
Produced by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, this document is full of control techniques and photos.  Read the document here
Thank you for your continued support!

Coastal ISC Staff and Partners in Action!

Jenny Balke on Denman
Island removing Spartina

Jen Grenz of MVIPC
demonstrates knotweed
stem injection

2013 Board of Directors