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You have a role to play in the fight against invasive species

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Spring has arrived and with warmer weather comes an explosion of growing things, evidence of lovely nature. Except there's the issue of invasive species getting the upper hand, proliferating in our natural areas, our trails and forests, our lakes, our rivers, and at home, our yards.

Invasive species are plants, animals, aquatic life and micro-organisms that are introduced outside of their natural environment and threaten local biodiversity (variety of life). They harm what are delicately balanced ecosystems, already under great stress from other factors like sprawl and pollution. They outcompete native species. They are pervasive, they move aggressively, they are hard to get rid of once they establish themselves. Invasive species are now considered only second to habitat loss as the highest threat to biodiversity.

But what about the natural evolution argument? Survival of the fittest? To find answers, I turn to Lesley McDonell, ecologist with the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) to get an understanding of exactly why letting invasives become our biodiversity is deadly.

Lesley describes a scenario, where at the grocery store, there are only five different things that are available........

© Peterborough Examiner