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World Biodiversity Day to be spent battling ‘aliens’

May 20, 2009

For Immediate Release

World Biodiversity Day to be spent battling ‘aliens’
Volunteers invited to help fight invasive species in province-wide effort

Conservation groups are banding together across Ontario to monitor and control some of our nastiest invasive alien species. The effort is timed to bring attention to International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, sanctioned by the United Nations. This year’s focus is invasive species, which are second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity.

"World Biodiversity Day provides an opportunity for individuals and groups to get engaged locally on this global issue," says Francine MacDonald, Invasive Species Biologist and O.F.A.H. Manager of the provincial Invading Species Awareness Program. "Invasive species out compete native plants and wildlife, and can even take over entire landscapes. Monitoring can be effective in identifying these invaders early, giving us the chance to prevent their spread into new areas."

During the third week of May, the O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network (B.E.A.N.), will be monitoring invasive species on the land and in the water, in a coordinated effort to protect our natural environment. Volunteers are welcome.

May 19 – a trail hike and monitoring for dog-strangling vine and garlic mustard will take place in the nature areas at Trent University, Peterborough (partner: Trent University)

May 21
– monitoring for Water soldier, a new invasive plant (first known report in Canada), along the Trent Severn Waterway between Hastings and Healey Falls

May 21 – a trail hike and monitoring dog-strangling vine and garlic mustard, will take place at Millenium Conservation Area, Port Hope (partner: Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority)

May 22 – a trail hike to detect garlic mustard and dog strangling vine will take place at Ken Reid Conservation Area, Lindsay (partner: Kawartha Conservation)

May 22
– Stream monitoring for rusty crayfish will take place at Broughs (also known as "Bluffs") Creek near Lake Simcoe, outside Orillia (partners: Community Stream Steward Program, Kids for Turtles Environmental Education)

B.E.A.N. is a collaborative network of groups and individuals representing private industry, formal and non-formal education, government, the environment and conservation. For more information, visit

The O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program is the largest of its kind in Canada. It uses public education and awareness to prevent the introduction of new invasive species, and to stop the spread of those already here. For more information, visit To volunteer at a World Biodiversity monitoring event, or call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.



Lezlie Goodwin
Communications Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext 270

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