Invasive Species Management

I found this post on the Toronto Zoo website which deals with invasive species, specifically to those that are effecting the Toronto Zoo grounds and how they are managing them.

In summary:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Problem: Detrimental eutrophication of waterways. Goose feces is either directly deposited into waterways or it leaches in via rain and run-off.

What is being done: 

  • A laser gun: a concentrated red laser beam projected towards the geese, a non-invasive deterrent
  • Egg-oiling/Egg removal : In the spring, all nests are located and eggs are oiled. This method has substantially decreased the number of goslings on-site
  • Planting trees and shrubs along the waterway to reduce the movement of geese from the waterway to the pathways during molting season.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Problem:  Alters  soil composition and displaces and strangles native vegetation and tree saplings.

What is being done?

  • Pull  plants during the flowering period in mid-May, and continue to do so until the seed bank is exhausted.
  • Replace this with over 750 native shrubs and forest plants.

Dog Strangler Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)

Problem? These vines are aggressive, forming dense colonies and choking out other flora such as trees and shrubs.

What is being done?

  • The Toronto Zoo and several universities is conducting studies on site to quantify mechanical and biological removal applications for DSV.

Phragmites or Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

Problem? European Phragmites are vigorous and invasive and steadily replace the native species.  Its alters dune ecology by choking out native flora, contributing to the degradation of wetlands in Ontario.

What is being done?

  •  The Toronto Zoo is currently developing a website that allows land owners to identify and help manage the invasive phragmites population in Canadian wetlands.

Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)

Problem? Extremely invasive organism that has had profound affects on the Great Lakes. Introductions have lead to the displacement of native crayfish. This displacement of native crayfish reduces food for other organisms such as fish and waterfowl which feed on them.

What is being done?

  • The Toronto Zoo has developed a crayfish identification guide to aid land owners and community members in identifying and reporting exotic crayfish species in an attempt to prevent and control exotic crayfish populations.
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