Invasive Species Awareness Week – help stop the spread

Ministry of Environment photo. Canada has spent billions of dollars to prevent, monitor, and manage the impact of invasive mussels since they arrived in the country in the 1980s.

It is Invasive Species Awareness Week in Saskatchewan (Feb. 26 – Mar. 3) the perfect time to learn more about our province’s least wanted guests. 

Invasive species – non-native plants, animals, insects and diseases that have the potential to negatively impact Saskatchewan – can be unintentionally spread through recreational activities such as boating, camping, hiking, fishing, transporting firewood, gardening and more. 

“Invasive species present a serious risk to our province’s biodiversity, as well as our farmland and forests,” Environment Minister Christine Tell said. “Using the Framework for the Prevention and Management of Invasive Species in Saskatchewan as a guide, public reporting helps slow the spread of these species, preserving Saskatchewan’s natural beauty and economic productivity.”

Residents play a key role in this work. By taking actions like cleaning, draining and drying all watercraft and stopping for checks at decontamination stations, only buying and burning local firewood, and reporting sightings of suspected pests, the public is helping us ‘stop the spread’.

To increase awareness, the Ministry of Environment will be sharing tips on their Facebook page throughout the week to help people identify invasive species, understand the threats posed by these species and know how to prevent invasive species from being unintentionally introduced. To see the daily feature of Saskatchewan’s most unwanted guests, join the conversation on Facebook.

Suspected invasive species can be reported through the 24-hour TIPP line at 1-800-667-7561. 

Residents can also sign up to be part of iMapInvasives – an invasive species mapping and data management tool administer by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

The Framework for the Prevention and Management of Invasive Species in Saskatchewan emphasizes a coordinated, province-wide effort to address the threat of invasive species. It also focuses on responding to establishment and adapting management strategies for those invasive species that are already present.