Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Ontario has developed a plan to combat invasive species in order to protect the province’s environment and its economy.
The Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan outlines Ontario’s approach to the prevention, early detection and rapid response to new invasive species and the effective management of such existing invasive species as round goby, zebra mussels and the emerald ash borer. Several ministries will work together under the plan to ensure threats to the province’s biodiversity and its economy are dealt with as effectively as possible.
The government has also committed to renew its partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to promote greater public awareness of invasive species through education and outreach — a major goal in the plan.
Protecting Ontario against invasive species is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to ensure a healthy environment and a strong economy. A strong economy protects the services that mean most to Ontario families — health care and education.
“The plan serves as an excellent framework for all of us in the invasive species network to focus on priorities and work collaboratively in response to the serious ecological and socio-economic threats that invasive species represent," says Robert Lambe, executive director of the Invasive Species Centre. "The centre is eager to work with the Ontario government and our broad network of partners and stakeholders to deliver on key priorities.”


• Invasive species are species that come from other countries or regions and threaten the environment, economy or society by disrupting local ecosystems. They are the second greatest threat to Ontario’s biodiversity after habitat loss.

• Zebra mussels cost the province between $75-million and $91-million per year due to economic losses in recreational and commercial fishing and boating, damages to infrastructure, and other complications resulting from the associated algae growth.

• Since 2010, enforcement officers have seized almost 39,000 lbs. of Asian carp that were destined for Ontario markets.

• Garlic mustard was brought over from Europe as an edible herb. It has spread throughout southern Ontario and out-competes native wildflowers such as the trillium, the provincial flower.

• Round gobies, a fish species, are aggressive feeders and steal eggs from nesting smallmouth bass.

• The emerald ash borer is a highly invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees in southern Ontario. It poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas.

• When combined with sun exposure, the sap from the giant hogweed can cause skin to burn and inflame. In some cases, affected areas can remain sensitive to UV light years after exposure.

To learn more, read the Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan.

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