CKISS Speaks to Invasive Species Action Month

CKISS-White Spanish broom

(Image provided by CKISS: White Spanish Broom/Cytisus Multiflorus)

Invasive Species Action Month is here: A provincial campaign raising awareness and encouraging action to mitigate harmful invasive species.

White Spanish Broom and Italian Arum are two new listed species added to the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society's invasive plant priority list. Education Program Coordinator Laurie Frankcom tells the Bounce Radio Newsroom that the public needs to be mindful when planting:

“White Spanish Broom for example can definitely displace wildlife because it creates quite thick dense thickets and also that can be a fire hazard where as Italian Aram is a health concern because all parts of the plants are highly poisonous. Both species do choke out native species once they scape the garden and this is bad news for biodiversity.”

“Definitely avoid planting invasive plants and there’s a great program out there called ‘plant lives’ which offers valuable resources to gardening enthusiasts that can educate themselves about horticulture’s most unwanted invasive plants and still providing some great alternatives. There are still some of these plants in greenhouses so buyers (being) aware and knowing what you grow is really important and that’s how you can take action for Invasive Species Action Month.” she adds

Frankcom says a plethora of events and volunteer activities are also right around the corner for anybody interested:

“On May 14th we are having a Broom-Bash; so we’re removing Scotch Broom, a close cousin of White Spanish Broom at the Kootenay Gallery. Then a big one this year (and) a new program for us: We are doing a Community Science Monitoring Program at Kootenay Lake. So we’re currently looking for volunteers who own private docks in areas A, B and E of Kootenay Lake to help us monitor for invasive mussels…. Another thing we’re looking for is volunteers interested in conducting shoreline surveys for invasive clams and help remove some invasive plants from targeted areas….”

Both White Spanish Broom and Italian Arum have not yet been detected in the Central Kootenay region but would be a threat to local ecosystems. To report any invasive species, find the priority list or reach out for more details find CKISS online.