Invasive species are species of plants, animals and micro-organisms that have been introduced outside of their past or present, natural distribution. Their introduction has the potential to cause serious damage to the environment, the economy and social values.
Invasive species do not need to travel far to be invasive. Some species come from neighbouring ecosystems, while others come from neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, many travel from as far away as other continents!
Invasive species can be terrestrial or aquatic based. Terrestrial based invasive species are typically plant and animal species that live on land. Meanwhile, aquatic invasive species (AIS) are plants, fishes and invertebrates that live in aquatic and/or riparian environments.
For many years, the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council was entirely concerned with the management of terrestrial invasive plants. However, the potential impacts to freshwater resources in the region by AIS couldn't be ignored any longer. As a result, EKISC is now also involved with management of AIS in the East Kootenay. However, EKISC does not manage for terrestrial based invasive species such as; mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, etc.
In the area of plant management, the terms 'invasive plant' and 'noxious weed' are often used synonymously. Many people used these terms incorrectly. Noxious weeds should only be used to refer to species that are listed provincially or regionally in the British Columbia Weed Control Act and Regulations. Noxious weeds are species that landowners and occupiers have a legal responsibility to manage. Meanwhile, invasive plants is more of a contemporary, catch-all term and can be used to refer to species that may or may not be also be listed as noxious. Clear as mud?