Invasive species pose a significant threat to the Nottawasaga Valley watershed, displacing native wildlife and plants.
Invasive species are non-native plant, animal or pest species that outcompete native species for resources and dominate space. They may directly kill other species, introduce disease or hybridize with native species. Non-native invasive species typically prefer disturbed habitats, are aggressive, have high reproductive rates, and lack natural predators. Invasive species are spread with the assistance of humans and by animals, wind and water.
As David Featherstone, manager of NVCA watershed monitoring, explains, "Phragmites is becoming a significant issue in our wetlands while garlic mustard is threatening our upland forests. Our forested swamps and upland forests are being threatened by emerald ash borer. Zebra and quagga mussels have impacted the Georgian Bay ecosystem and round goby has colonized our shoreline and larger river systems."
The Dirty Dozen: Invasive Species in the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed
- Common and Glossy Buckthorn
- Dog-Strangling Vine
- Emerald Ash Borer
- Garlic Mustard
- Giant Hogweed
- Norway Maple
- Rough Manna Grass
- Round Goby
- Rusty Crayfish
- Wild Parsnip
- Zebra and Quagga Mussel
Tackling Invasive Species in the Watershed
NVCA works with a number of partners to monitor and control invasive species in the watershed. Below is a quick snapshot of NVCA invasive species work to date. Our long-standing partnership with the Ontario Federal of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) summer student "hit squad" has facilitated this work.
The NVCA has been involved with invasive species monitoring/control since approximately 2005. These projects include:
garlic mustard monitoring and removal (Tiffin Conservation Area 2005 – present)
- garlic mustard monitoring (Bruce Trail report 2010)
garlic mustard removal (Petun Conservation Area - with Nature League 2011 to present)
giant hogweed monitoring (watershed) and control (Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Hockley)
wild parsnip monitoring (watershed) since 2009
Phragmites monitoring (Minesing Wetlands, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach) – since 2008; control project in Minesing Wetlands staring in2011; technical steering committee participation (Wasaga Beach Provincial Park 2008-2011); partnership with Georgian Bay Forever and community groups to monitor and control Phragmites in West Collingwood (initiated Fall 2014)
- NVCA Phragmites & Invasive Species Action Plan for the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed (2016)
dog-strangling vine monitoring (Minesing Wetlands/Collingwood) since 2008; control projects starting in 2009 to present (in the Minesing Wetlands with Nature Conservancy Canada and County of Simcoe)
involvement with the County of Simcoe's Emerald Ash Borer monitoring program
ongoing, incidental species monitoring
Early Detection is Key
Early detection and rapid response is essential for the control and/or eradication of invasive species in an area. If you find one of the invasive species listed above, please report the sighting to EDDmapS Ontario at https://www.eddmaps.org/ontario/