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2016  North American Envirothon  Hosts- Forests Ontario 

Peterborough, Ontario,  Canada
July 24 - July 29, 2016

Invasive Species: A Challenge to the Environment, Economy and Society


Invasive Species: A Challenge to the Environment, Economy and Society

Invasive species pose a serious threat to the stability of many North American ecosystems. Invasive species have been known to disrupt food webs, damage or destroy habitat and contribute to the decline of indigenous species at risk.

In addition to their environmental impact, invasive species can have a significant impact on local economies; in the United States alone it is estimated that invading alien species cause major environmental damage and loss adding up to almost $120 billion per year (Pimentel, Zuniga, Morrison – 2005).

The 19th and 20th centuries have seen an exponential increase in the number of invasive species being intentionally and unintentionally introduced to North America and around the world through a variety of methods. The vast majority of invasive species that have established themselves in North America did so through unnatural or “human-assisted” means, including being introduced by early settlers for agricultural purposes. However, many others have been inadvertently transported to North America through trade and travel, as stowaways on ships or in packaging materials, and through horticulture. With the expected increases in exports and trade in the future, we can likely expect greater challenges and introductions of new species not yet known to occur in North America.

Students will learn about invasive species prevention, introduction, impact and management.