Okanagan's Most UnWanted

Be on the Lookout for Invasive Species

By Sarah McIntyre

What Are Invasive Species?

Invasive species are one or more species of animal that are not originally from that location. Perhaps a species has come here accidentally, or they could have come completely on purpose. Wherever they came from, and however they go there, they are not good. That doesn't mean the the species is necessarily bad, but they aren't good in that particular location. They are bad news to the native species, because they could be eating their food or destroying their habitats, and killing the ecosystem.

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii)

Spotted Knapweed's Physical Descriptions

1. 20-120cm tall

2. The tips have flowers that are coloured with pink, purple, and white. These flowers bloom in between the months of July and October

3. The flower heads look very similar to tiny clusters of thistles

4. You can tell that they are Spotted Knapweed flowers by the bulb beneath the flower head. it is distinctively black later in the blooming season, but earlier in the season, they are dark brown.

5. The leaves slowly get smaller as the times comes for the new branches to add on.

6. If you see these, pull them out!

Spotted Knapweed's Known Hangouts and Habitats

From the information that I have gathered, there have been no reported sightings in the Okanagan , but they have been found over all over British Columbia except Haida Gwaii over the years. Spotted Knapweed lives in slightly drier dirt areas that are shaded, like grasslands, shrublands, and pastures.

Their Origin and How Spotted Knapweed came to B.C.

The origin of Spotted Knapweed is Europe. People think this no one transferred the weed here on purpose, but it had accidentally gotten mixed in with other types of seeds and hay. The first time that people noticed it here was in the 1900's. Spotted Knapweed is mostly human spread, because it can get moved to new places by boat, train, plane, or motor vehicle. The seeds are usually hidden in hay, and occasionally, it is used in floral arrangements.
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Their Crimes, How They Spread, and What are People Doing About Them

Spotted Knapweed is very competitive and it always wins. It fights native grass and other plants for space. Roots of Knapweed contains chemicals that stop other plants from growing. The roots are deep in the ground and catch rainwater faster than native plants. People are can stop Knapweed from going when they cut, pull and mow it. If we all work together to get Spotted Knapweed out of our ecosystems, then it will become healthier. The actions required for this are to not plant Spotted Knapweed anywhere! Pull it out and throw the roots away!!

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

American Bullfrog's Physical Descriptions

1. up to 20cm long

2. they are a yellow and olive colour and their bellies are grey

3. the males throats turn bright yellow throughout the mating season

4. their ear drums are huge

5. they have a skin fold that wraps around their ear drum, with no ridges

How they spread, and what people are doing about them

They spread very easily, because one single female can lay 20,000 eggs at once, and they also spread infections. Some people say that there is no hope of fulling getting rid of them, the only real way is hunting, or having them eaten when they are tadpoles. If people hunt them, then they will leave, although it is sad to think that they will die, the ecosystem will become healthy once again. We can help the ecosystem become healthy is we do not buy bullfrogs from the garden supply stores, so that they do not spread anymore!!
Bullfrog Serenade

other interesting facts

Spotted Knapweed: They have been found pretty much everywhere except Haida Gwaii; 40,000 hectares are covered in Spotted Knapweed in BC alone;
American Bullfrog: The male adults call sounds like "jug-o-rum"; They are the largest frog in North America;