Page 3 of 3
And invasive species is described as any species of plant or animal that is not native to the province. Some of the species are innocuous, while others endanger native species and habitats, and in some cases infrastructure and people. For example, two species of priority for the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council are the Japanese Knotweed, which has been known to choke rivers, crack pavement and ruin the foundations of homes. The giant hogweed extrudes a sap that, when combined with UV light, burns skin and in rare cases can cause blindness.
The framework being put together by the province will include an action plan that is already under development. Among other things, the plan will establish how species are to be removed and disposed of, while providing funding to groups that are certified to do the removal. Over 100 stakeholders are involved in drafting the plan.
In addition to provincial funding, the new framework also draws financial support from Environment Canada through the Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program, and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. The total cost has not been announced.
Some of the priority plant species identified by the Invasive Species Council of B.C. include Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, non-native hawkweeds, Garlic Mustard, Cordgrass, Knapweed, Black Henbane, Blueweed, Common Tansy, Tansy Ragwort, Hoary Alyssum, Field Scabious, Leafy Spurge, Purple Loosestrife, Yellow Flag Iris, Himalyan Balsam and Scotch Broom.
Invasive Animal Species on the list include the American Bullfrog, Norway Rat, Eastern Grey Squirrel, European Cottontail Rabbit, Snakehead Fish, Common Carp, Yellow Perch, Crayfish and Small-mouth Bass.
Some of the species hitch rides on vehicles, have spread to B.C. or are blown here on the wind, while others are purposely planted or released by humans.