Okanagan's Most Unwanted

The Oxeye Daisy and the Californian Quail

What is an invasive Species

An invasive species is an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has adverse effects on other environments and/or our health. Not all introduced species are invasive.

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Physical Description

Scientific Name: Leucanthemum Vulgare

Flower:Typical daisy appearance; single flower heads at the end of branches have white rays and yellow disc flowers. Flower head diameter is approximately 5 cm. White petals are notched

Stems:Single to a few erect stems. Sometimes branched.

Height: 0.2-0.8 meters.

Fruits: Ribbed black achenes(simple, dry, one-sided fruit)

History

I couldn't find exactly where or how the Oxeye Daisy got in the Okanagan, but non-native species arrived in British Columbia in different ways, for example as seeds imported by hay, as feed imported for livestock, or as part of a program of re-seeding grasslands. Most are European imports, brought in as early as the 1850's. They have disturbed areas, alongside roads, in areas of thin, gravely soils, and in areas that were historically heavily grazed. The spread is often associated with the increase recreation in grasslands over the past twenty years, and particularly the concentrated use of motorized vehicles over many years.

Impacts

Economic: Infestations can also decrease forage for wildlife, decrease local plant biodiversity, and may decrease vegetative ground cover due to its growth form, thereby increasing the area of exposed soil on the environment.

Scientific Name

The common name is an Oxeye Daisy and the scientific name is Leucanthemum Vulgare
Invasive Species - Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Other VERY Interesting Facts

The Oxeye daisy is one of fourteen plant species listed in the BC Weed Control Act as noxious weeds, which means that owners of private and public lands have legal responsibilities for their control. All these species have caused serious damage to our grasslands or pose a serious threat.

Californian Quail

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Physical Description

The California quail is a small, plump bird with a short black beak. The male has a gray chest and brown back and wings. It has a black throat with white stripes and a brown cap on its head. The female has a gray or brown head and back and a lighter speckled chest and belly. Both the male and the female have a curved black crown feather on their foreheads. The male's crown feather is larger than the female's. Average weight of California quail is between 150.6 g to 189.5 g. An adult California quail grows to be 25 cm (9.8 in) in length.

History

The Californian Quail is a game bird popular among hunters, which is how it ended up in British Columbia. It was first introduced to BC near Victoria in the 1860. This was followed by other releases across the province. Some populations succeeded, especially on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Island and the Fraser Valley region, but quail are most common in the Okanagan Valley of the southern interior.

Impacts

They can be pests for humans, eating our crops and getting into our gardens. In Okanagan orchards and vineyards, they are causing damage to crops such as grapes and strawberries.
The California Quail

Other VERY Interesting Facts

  • California Quail nests can contain as many as 28 eggs. These large clutches may be the result of females laying eggs in nests other than their own, a behaviour known as "egg-dumping."
  • The oldest known California Quail was 6 years 11 months old.
  • California Quails can often get by without water, getting their moister from insects and succulent vegetation.
  • The California Quail’s head plume, or topknot, looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping feathers.
  • The California Quail digests vegetation with the help of protozoans in its intestine. Chicks acquire the protozoans by pecking at the feces of adults.