Okanagan's Most Unwanted!

By: Ryan Arcari

Why are we worried about these species in the Okanagan?

There are lots of animals and plants that the Okanagan does not want for various reasons, that you can find out listed below. I will cover one animal and one plant.

What is an Invasive Species?

An Invasive Species is a plant or animal that is not native to an environment and negatively impacts ecosystems by what they eat or what the do or if they're toxic, etc. for example, say and animal eats to much of a plant the an other animal needs to survive, and then the invasive Animal reproduces quicker and the other animal starts to die out and become ex- stint. They usually get here by accidental human transportation for example, some people come to the Okanagan to bring crops but accidentally have weeds or something that is invasive to our environment, and when they plant them that plant starts to grow and effects the environment. I will be telling you about Spotted Knapweed and Rusty Crayfish witch are both invasive and you can read more about them below.

Spotted Knapweed

This plant is sometimes called the super villian of all weeds because of how violent it is. It is not actually native to the Okanagan. In the early 1900s it came when the Europeans came to Canada to bring crops but accidentally brought a few knapweed seeds and so it started to grow here.

It is bad for the Okanagan because it takes a lot of nutrients and sunlight away from other plants around it because of its extremely strong roots and the roots are toxic poisoning plants around it and make animals sick when they try to eat it. This vicious plant grows very fast as well. The BC government is putting 1.7 million dollars to fight against bad plants to help the environment of The Okanagan and BC.

This weed is a purple flowered weed that is not native to the Okanagan or North America grows in wetter areas, usually grasslands and farmlands.

Common Name: Spotted Knapweed
Scientific Name: Centaurea Maculosa
Spotted Knapweed, identification of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Centaurea stoebe

Rusty Crayfish

This fish is not yet in the Okanagan in fact, it is still in Manitoba but here in the Okanagan we are worried about it coming here and what it would and can do to negatively effect the environment.

This fish can easily impact the under water environment by eating tons of seaweed and other under water plants, making not enough food for other fish in the water. the also eat the areas where other fish lay there eggs making not enough areas for the other fish to lay there eggs. if the eggs are small enough, the Crayfish might even eat the eggs. They also reproduce very fast making lots more of the causing problems in the underwater environment.

The BC Government is telling people from ares where the Rusty Crayfish are to wash there boat and check it for Rusty Crayfish eggs before the come to the Okanagan.

These Fish look like Rusty, ugly lobsters, and like to hang out in rivers, lakes, and sometimes big creeks.

Common Name: Rusty Crayfish
Scientific Name: Orconectes Ruticus
Know Your Invasives: Rusty Crayfish