GFM Network News


Watercraft owners are required to stop at inspection stations so their boats, kayaks or other watercraft can be inspected for invasive species.

Don’t forget threat of invasive aquatic species

Albertans eager to get back onto lakes and irrigation reservoirs shouldn’t forget about the threat of invasive aquatic species, says the association representing the province’s 13 irrigation districts. “All watercraft owners have a part to play in preventing aquatic invasive species from being introduced into Alberta waterbodies,” the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association said in a […] Read more

Common tansy.

Watch for these invasive plants

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Council on Invasive Species are urging Albertans to watch for five invasive species and remove them if spotted on their property: Common tansy: Has yellow, button-like flowers and can grow 1.5 metres tall. It impacts stream banks and native grasslands and outcompetes native plants. It also produces […] Read more


More ‘murder hornets’ found in B.C., Washington

Findings suggest some were able to overwinter

Reuters/Staff — Officials in British Columbia and Washington state have confirmed new sightings of the Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” indicating the invasive, predatory insect survived the winter in the Vancouver area and U.S. Pacific Northwest. The stinging hornet, whose queens can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches in length, could potentially pose […] Read more

The effort to keep rats out of Alberta dates back seven decades.

Eternal vigilance the key to being rat free

The effort to keep the rodents out of Alberta continues unabated after seven decades

It takes a lot of work but the Alberta Rat Control Program is an unqualified success, says provincial rat and pest specialist Phil Merrill. “Someone must have had incredible foresight and said, ‘We don’t have rats, and we’re only going to battle them in the east. We can do this,’” said Merrill, the face and […] Read more


A large male wild boar — which can top 600 pounds — in a rare daytime photo. The animals tend to be nocturnal.

Wild pigs a growing problem not many seem to care about

Alberta is the only province with a control strategy — but it’s still in the pilot program phase

Since their numbers are unknown and the wily animals are rarely spotted, it’s been easy to ignore the problem of wild pigs. But given their potential to spread disease, that’s a mistake, says the country’s leading — and pretty much only — expert on wild boars. The animals — whose population has mushroomed in the […] Read more

Farming insects may solve one problem, create others

Rome | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Insects have great potential as an alternative source of protein, but further research is urgently needed before mass production begins in order to avoid environmental disaster, Swedish researchers warned Monday. There is currently an “overwhelming lack of knowledge” on basic questions such as suitable species, their housing and feed […] Read more


The province checked more than 30,000 boats at inspection stations this year. Owners are encouraged to clean, drain, and dry their vessels, but it’s not a guarantee they will be mussel free.

Some close calls, but invasive mussels kept at bay this year

Eleven boats were found to be carrying the fast-breeding and highly destructive aquatic invaders

The massive effort to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of Alberta’s waterways once again paid dividends. “This year, inspectors surveyed 31,000 boats and found 11 carrying invasive mussels,” said Janine Higgins, an official with the Community Engagement Branch of Alberta Environment and Parks. In 2017, 35,000 boats were inspected and 19 were found to […] Read more

Adult beetles have a distinctive metallic green sheen.

Deadly pest marching towards Alberta’s borders

The emerald ash borer has travelled halfway across the continent and has now reached Manitoba

Another highly destructive invasive pest has breached the boundary of the eastern Prairies and Albertans are being asked to keep watch — and not unwittingly aid its spread. The emerald ash borer, which attacks and kills all species of ash, was found in Winnipeg this winter. The beetle is on a steady invasive march across […] Read more


Battling invasive mussels comes with a high cost

New report outlines control methods — but it will take a massive, and expensive, effort every year

*[UPDATED, May 15, 2018] Winter may be the best weapon if zebra and quagga mussels invade Alberta’s waterways, says a new report. The two species, members of the dreissenid family of mussels, have spread across North America since being found in the Great Lakes more than three decades ago. And while they haven’t invaded Alberta waters […] Read more

These goats at Frank Lake are owned by Baah’d Plant Management 
& Reclamation, based in Calgary.

Goats and beetles used to fight invasive species

Leafy spurge is found across Alberta and its creeping root system makes it very difficult to control

Pull, mow, burn, and spray. These are common ways that Ducks Unlimited Canada manages invasive plant species on projects located on agricultural land. But there’s a new management tool in the mix now being used by the organization. It has started using goats and flea beetles to help combat leafy spurge at its Frank Lake […] Read more