Take precautions to avoid bringing invasive species with you on vacation
TORONTO, April 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Campers and cottagers preparing for their first trip of the season could unknowingly be carrying invasive "hitchhikers" with them to their destination. These uninvited travelers that threaten the health of Ontario's forests and lakes are known as invasive species, and they are a growing threat in Ontario and throughout North America.
An invasive species is a plant or animal that has been accidentally or deliberately introduced to an area outside of its normal geographical range. Without natural controls such as predators, they spread rapidly and can cause negative impacts to ecosystems, the economy and even society.
Cottagers and campers can follow these steps to prevent the spread of invasive species:
- Inspect and clean boats and motors
- Dispose of bait properly
- Groom pets after hiking
- Buy firewood where it will be burned
- Garden with non-invasive plants
- Clean mud, seeds and plant parts from equipment
To help combat the introduction and spread of invasive species, the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) is launching a "24 Before 24" campaign to remind everyone to "look before you leave!" Beginning April 25, the OIPC will be profiling one invasive species every day for 24 days leading up to the May long weekend. To learn more about these species, and how to prevent their spread, visit the OIPC website, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
The Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) is a non-profit, multi-agency organization housed in the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Conservation Centre in Peterborough, Ontario. The OIPC coordinates activities that support a collaborative approach in the prevention, detection, management and outreach of invasive plants throughout Ontario. Visit www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca to learn more.
For further information:
Ontario Invasive Plant Council
705-748-6324 ext 281