GFM Network News


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


This model shows how quickly mussels grow. Lake Mead, located southeast of Las Vegas, is the largest reservoir in the U.S.

Efforts to keep out invasive mussels working — for now

A dozen contaminated boats have been found so far this year 
and officials warn zebra and quagga mussels 
are cunning hitchhikers

Zebra and quagga mussels are not in Alberta yet, but the threat continues to grow. “This is becoming a huge issue in our world — the more we travel and carry things around — whether we know it or not,” said Janine Higgins, community engagement lead with Alberta Environment and Parks. The two invasive species, […] Read more

Giant hogweed is similar to cow parsnip in many respects, but its size is a giveaway.

Giant hogweed is one big and scary weed

Noxious weeds: Giant hogweed can reach heights of six metres

It’s not often a weed grabs the attention of both urban and rural landowners across the province, yet in 2015, giant hogweed was a weed everyone had an eye out for. As we wrap up the growing season in 2017, this prohibited noxious short-lived perennial is still on folks’ minds and is often mistaken for […] Read more


Devil’s trumpet — also known as jimsonweed, hell’s bells, loco-weed, and devil’s cucumber — is easily identified by either sight or smell.

Devil’s trumpet is a potentially deadly invader

Noxious Weeds: Jimsonweed

Although its exact origin is unknown, devil’s trumpet — otherwise known as jimsonweed — is found in many countries around the world in both agricultural and ornamental settings. Introduced to this province as a contaminant of agricultural seed, this smelly weed is under review by the provincial Agriculture Ministry and it has been recommended to […] Read more