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© Lora Denis
Caring for our nature reserves involves a wide range of actions, from preventing invasive species establishment to restoring habitats and conducting species surveys. However, despite our efforts, invasive species are persistent and can find way to establish themselves.
One of the most effective ways to engage people in conservation is hosting invasive species removal events. Invasive species removal is a key part of management on our nature reserves as they out-compete native flora and fauna. They are often seen in large monoculture ‘patches’ and can quickly take over, resulting in biodiversity loss.
In 2021, we removed 180 buckthorn shrubs using Extractigator® devices and 88 kilograms of periwinkle plants through manual pulling at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve. By pulling these non-native species, we broke up the monoculture persistence of each invasive, slowing its spread and allowing native species to establish themselves.
Although invasive species removal remains a priority on our nature reserves, getting out with the community to learn about nature and enjoy our properties is equally important. In July of 2021, we invited our supporters and members to our Butterfly Identification Workshop at Ontario Nature’s Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve.
We hope you’ll join us in the field this year! Visit our events page for more information on upcoming events or subscribe to our email list so that you don’t miss an opportunity to get involved.
Also, if you want to learn more on how to tackle common invasive species in your backyard and promote native species, visit the Invasive Species Centre website for helpful resources.
The invasive species removal event was made possible with the generous help from Dillon Consulting and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. The butterfly hike was made possible by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Seven years ago we moved to a 2.7 acre property in Kawartha Lakes . A steep hill about an acre large was thick with Dog Strangling Vine–Vincetoxicum rossicum. It has been an obsession of ours to try and eradicate this invasive, noxious plant. We have consulted with the Kawartha Lakes Conservation Authority; planted a portion of the hill as pollinator garden with mainly native species; cut the steep hill with a weed whacker; and my husband will collect and burn any seed pods that do develop.
While we have seen progress we doubt our efforts are sustainable. That is one day we will not be able to continue these efforts and the invasive plant will have the ability to thrive again. Certainly the fields beyond our property are still thick with Dog Strangling Vine so those seeds and runners will have their chance to reinvade our hill.
We have managed to increase the Milkweed that grows on the hill and by cutting the Dog Strangling Vine Monarch butterflies are not going to mistake it for milkweed and lay eggs on the weed that is noxious to the caterpillars.
Do you have any advice for us that will enhance our efforts? We were offered a grant by the conservation authority to cover a portion of the cost of having the property ‘sprayed’ but we refuse to use chemicals. So please note that is not an option. We don’t feel we can remove the top layer of soil in one go to remove the vine because the hill would then be susceptible to erosion. We are open to any suggestions.
Lisa and John
You have left out the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC)in your article.
Our organization specializes in Invasive Plant. We have many Best
Management Practice and Technical Guides on how to manage and
remove Invasive Plant. Readers may wish to download our Grow Me
Instead Guides to Northern and Southern Ontario. The OIPC website:
You had me at “ Extractigator”. Sounds like a great product for removing invasive shrubs and trees on private property as well. Thanks for the tip.
Frank, when I want to do that, I just copy the URL for the page and paste it into the FB post. It brings up the page link, and then I can remove the URL and add my own text introduction.
Have you tried that?
I would like to add just this article to our Willow Beach Field Naturalists FB page. Is this possible ?
I would like to add just the article on invasives on our Willow Beach Field Naturalists FB. Is this possible ? Frank