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“Community scientists” lead the charge against invasive species in BC

May is Invasive Species Action Month, which means that the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is asking everyone to pitch in and join the fight against unwanted invaders. 

Gail Wallin, Executive Director from the ISCBC says that anyone in the province with a smart phone can get involved, all they need to do is download an app. Using the free iNaturalist app the public can become “Community Scientists” and add to the ISCBCs database. 

Finding and documenting invasive species is just one piece of the puzzle though, according to Wallin stopping their spread is just as important. To keep it simple the ISCBC says you should clean your equipment and drain your boat after every time you use it. That’s part of their “Play Clean Go” initiative. 

Each week will have a different theme and first up is “Don’t Let it Loose” which is all about the damage a released pet can do when it’s let out into the wild. Wallin says that releasing even something small like a goldfish, can have devastating effects. 

“We have a growing number of lakes and ponds that have been overrun with goldfish,” Wallin says “They release it thinking they’re doing the right thing.” 

For more information on the upcoming weekly themes for Invasive Species Action Month visit ISCBC’s site. 

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