Island Nature Trust
Prioritizing and Tackling Invasive Species Management in PEI Natural Areas
This project took place in several Island Nature Trust (INT)- owned Natural Areas across Prince Edward Island, with focused efforts in Nail Pond, Blooming Point, Fort Augustus, Long River, Culloden, and Alaska. The goals of this project were to
Assess sites at high risk of invasion
Develop a communication and education strategy for preventing the spread of invasive species in INT natural areas
Develop and implement a monitoring protocol for invasive insects
Host at least five public events in INT natural areas which focus on invasive species, and
Engage key threat sector groups in public events
As a result of this project, over 140 kilograms (308 lbs) of invasive plants were removed from two INT natural areas, through the combined efforts of INT staff, local watershed groups, Abegweit Conservation Society, and INT's network of volunteers. INT created a detailed management document listing all of our natural areas and associated threats, such as invasive species, along with current and planned management efforts, such as mapping and removal work. An invasive insect monitoring protocol was also developed. Survey methods and annual monitoring schedules were developed and implemented for five INT natural areas, targeting black and white ash stands in western PEI (surveying for emerald ash borer), and hemlock stands in eastern PEI (surveying for hemlock woolly adelgid).
Invasive species pose a large threat to wildlife. When a natural area with a diverse plant species composition becomes overrun with an invasive plant, native wildlife loses valuable habitat and foraging or hunting food sources. If an invasive insect becomes established in an area, it can cause significant tree mortality, which in turn reduces both habitat and food sources for birds and other forest wildlife. By physically removing invasive plants, educating the public, and implementing invasive species monitoring protocols, INT can help limit the spread of invasive species, while allowing native species to continue to support the ecosystem.