Unwanted Species

Grey squirrel and Yellow Flag Iris

What is an Invasive species? What does a grey squirrel do to harm the animals?

An invasive species is an organism that is not native to the area. For example the Eastern Grey Squirrel is an invasive species because it is not native here. It was brought over from New York in the 1914's and then it started to reproduce and then take over nesting grounds. The Eastern Grey Squirrel lives in city parks were red squirrels use to live but dont anymore because they are scared of the Eastern Grey Squirrel. We dont have much Red squirrels because they die from not being able to get food or have a safe place to nest. Eastern Grey squirrels are taking over homes of other animals and taking all the food.

When did it arrive? How did it get here? Where did it come from?

-Arrived in 1914

-8 squirrels were brought over and placed in Stanley Park

-Came from New York

-By 1920 species fully established Vancouver

-Native to Eastern North America

-Found in city parks, urban areas, and rural woodlands

-Mostly live near nut trees

Common Name, Scientific Name, Physical Discription

Common Name- Eastern Grey Squirrel

Scientific Name- Sciurus carolinensis

Physical description- Grey fur but can also be black or reddish brown with a white underside, long bushy tail 9-25 cm long, head and body length is 23-30 cm long, long slightly hairy ears, brown face, feet and flank

Interesting Facts

-1 male and 2 females escaped a game farm on Victoria island

- Often strip bark from young oak trees

- prey on nesting birds

- Eats bird eggs and nestlings

- Rades backyard feeders for seeds

- Compete with native birds for tree cavities

- Uses tail to balance between tree branches

- Tail helps keep it warm in the winter

What is being done to stop the spread of it?

People are shooting them,trapping and will euthanize them if they are in there back yard or front yard. The government is letting people kill them so they dont reproduce anymore so the population of them will die down.

Ways to stop the spread of them

-Don’t feed or relocate grey squirrels
-Keep all compost, garbage and pet food covered
-Use squirrel-proof bird feeders

Why does it spread easily?

Spreads easily because it can reproduce and when the trees get to full and there are no trees in the area they go looking for new trees in different places.

They look for trees to strip the bark off of but mostly young oak trees.

History- When did it arrive? How did it come? Where is it from?

-Came in 180's

-Got here through water ways

-Came from Europe, Western Asia

-First found in Ontario

-First sighting (in wild) 1911

-Came over as an ornamental plant

Biology- Common name, Scientific name, Physical description, Size

Common Name- Yellow Fag Iris

Scientific Name- Iris pseudacorus

Physical Description- Yellow petals, 3 drooping deep yellow sepals with purple and brown markings that look like large petals, flat leaves.

Size-Grows up to 30 cm-1 ft

Interesting facts

Bloom Time- between April and July

-Only Yellow iris in North America

-When not flowering looks like Blue Flag Iris

-Grows in groups of 10-12

Where is it living? Have there been recent sightings?

It is living in wet areas such as swamps, marshes, ditches, shallow ponds, streams and shore lines

Recent sightings are up by Quail Ridge Winery

Negative impacts, How does it spread? Why does it spread easily?

-Can reduce the carrying capacity of water storage

-Can blog irrigation canals and flood ditches

-Spreads through seed dispersal and horizontal root systems

-It spreads easily from roots breaking off underwater in streams then the roots get carried away and end up growing some wear

What is being done to stop the spread of it?

-When blooming people will pull them out

- People will dig them out of there yard and make sure that the roots are gone then they will burn them so they cant grow anymore

-They dig them out of ditches, marshes ect.