Are There Invasive Species in Burnaby?
Recently, you may have seen Japanese Beetle treating sites around Burnaby. Do you know why they’re there? Japanese Beetles are an invasive species (in Burnaby!) and in this post we’ll explore what invasive, native, and non-native species are.
Invasive, Native, And Non-Native Species
The impact invasive, native, and non-native species have on us is enormous. All of them are organisms, such as plants or animals.
Invasive species have been introduced into our environment intentionally or accidentally, but have a negative effect. As they aren’t from here, invasive species often don’t have any natural predators. The population of native species is lowered because they are hunted by invasive species. Invasive plants can also quickly take over, their seeds spreading and competing with native plants for water, soil, and nutrients. Invasive plants can worsen wildfires as they are more flammable. They are also less tolerant of droughts, cause erosion and property damage, damage forests, and reduce water quality.
Native species are indigenous to a place. These species have always been here and were made to be here. They are more resilient to our weather conditions. Native plants prevent erosion with their deep roots and have a strong positive effect on our environment.
Although they aren’t native to here, non-native species don’t have a negative impact. Non-native species include tomatoes, daffodils, and cows. These species generally benefit the economy or environment.
Invasive species in BC
There are many invasive species threatening Burnaby and BC. These include the Japanese Beetle, knotweed, cheatgrass, and zebra mussels. Already, it’s estimated that the Japanese Beetle causes $14.5 million of crop damage every year in BC. There’s information here if you suspect there are Japanese Beetles on your property. To prevent invasive plants from spreading their seeds, wipe your shoes before and after leaving a park. Mussels are often spread by recreation boaters, and can clog water pipes. To prevent the spread of Zebra and Quagga mussels in our rivers, lakes, and oceans, clean, drain, and dry your boat.
Invasive species are a huge threat to our environmental and economic future. Make an effort to plant native species, remove invasive species, and do your part to prevent their spread. If we don’t take action for our environment now, there won’t be an environment to take action for.
You can learn more about invasive species here and environmental literacy here.