Conservation group urges people to report invasive species to slow spread
HALIFAX -- As people resume springtime recreational activities including gardening, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is urging them to help minimize the spread of invasive species.
This week is Invasive Species Awareness Week and a conservation biologist with the organization says people can help by reporting sightings, a simple move that contributes to early detection of species that don't belong in local habitats.
Dan Kraus says on a global scale, invasive species are the second most serious threat to natural settings and wildlife after habitat loss.
Kraus says invasive species not only threaten Canadian plants and animals but also impact the economy, and in some cases people's health.
As examples, he says plants such as Japanese knotweed and European common reed can lower property values, while insects such as the emerald ash borer are major threats to the health of ash tree populations, especially in urban areas.
Kraus says there are ways people can report invasive species, including through the iNaturalist phone app, and by uploading photos to help scientists and government agencies identify the species and monitor their spread.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2020.