Autumn Olive Management Strategy

Historical Profile

            Similar species to the Autumn Olive are the Russian Olive, Buffalo Berry, and Bush Honeysuckle. Based on early reports of the species it was brought over to North America/United States by early settlers in the 1830’s as a source of food, medicine, wildlife habitat, ornamental use, and windbreaks. Autumn Olive is found from Maine to Virginia and as far west as Wisconsin. Due to its atmospheric nitrogen fixation through its roots and high success rate in low nutrient soils it was specifically used on sandy slopes of bridges and roadways to prevent soil erosion. The Autumn Olive is also known as the Autumn Berry because of the berries it produces turning into berries with silver specs when ripe. Aki-Gumi as it’s known in Japan translates to the Autumn silver berry, it grows to 20 feet tall in north America however it can grow to 30 feet tall in parts that it originated from like Japan, India and other Parts of the Himalayas. Due to the hardiness and rapid reproduction rate the species quickly began spreading uncontrollably, the plant was listed as invasive within Ontario and efforts to reduce population size have failed (Sternberg & West, 2017).

 

Distribution:

Elaeagnus umbellata also known as the autumn olive is a deciduous shrub that originates from East Asia, specifically spanning from the Himalayas to Japan (Walker, 2012). The plant was purposely introduced to North America and Australia but soon after fell into the noxious or invasive species categories depending on state and province. In Canada, autumn olive is only listed as invasive within Ontario (Nature.org, 2007).

 

Habitat: The Autumn Olive is both extremely resilient and resistant to a wide range of growing conditions and can establish itself in meadows, pastures, forest edges, sparse forests, road sides and previously disturbed areas (Nature.org, 2007). The plant grows best in well drained sandy soils but can also survive a wide range of soil and moisture conditions (Global invasive species database, 2005).  Autumn olive plants do well up to plant hardiness zone 3 but can tolerate slightly cooler growing spaces. The Autumn Olive is a moderately shade tolerant species which allows it to survive as an understory plant though full sun is ideal. The possibility of it spreading over to the west is an issue due to the autumn olives preference of open grasslands. They are denser in areas of less canopy cover which has been found as a good way to help regulate them along roadsides.

 

Figure 1: Global distribution of the Autumn Olive, Elaeagnus umbellate. It originated in Asia but in 1830 it was transported to the United states where it then spread up into Ontario. (Base map- Freeworldmaps.com)

 

Figure 1: This map shows the areas around the world where autumn olive is located.

 

Figure 2:  Map of ideal growing areas in  Ontario for Autumn Olive

 

Reproductive Strategy: The autumn olive can produce up to 200,000 seeds every year through small edible berries (Walker, B 2012). They normally bear fruit during September-October and once the seeds are dispersed, the plant will take between two to six years to begin reproducing. Their mass offspring production and rapid growth rate classifies them as an r-strategist species The Autumn olive is pollinated through insects since their male and female counterparts are separate.

 

Table 1:  In this table it will show the Autumn Olive’s characteristics compared to that of k and r-strategist. From it you can see it is somewhat in between but more of r-strategist in terms of adaptability with reproduction.

Characteristic r-strategist k-strategist Autumn Olive
Mortality Variable and unpredictable More often constant and predictable Constant
Lifespan Short Long Long roughly 30-40 years
Seedlings produced large Small Large quantity of fruit bared each year
Parental care Very little to none Necessity None
Frequency of reproduction Once or more within a small timeframe Will reproduce on multiple occasions but over a prolonged period of time Will reproduce after 3 year growing period then annually every September-October
Additional factors Generally mature individuals have success in reproduction Mature individuals sometimes will reproduce successfully Even if they are cut or burned they will grow back vigorously allowing them to continue reproducing

Survivorship: The Autumn Olive has a high survival rate in the locations that it grows. It is very tolerant to multiple soil conditions and is even moderately shade tolerant allowing it to grow in understory if necessary. They have a Type 1 survivorship curve since they are able to survive through early to midlife but do not survive to old age. Their ability to die off is more linked towards their age rather than their surroundings since if they are damaged they grow back immensely. Autumn Olive does not care for their young and produce a lot of offspring but have a very low mortality rate during the early to midway point of their life. They produce tens of thousands of offspring that have low mortality rates of 10%-30% based off conditions around them.

 

Dispersal/ Vectors: The Autumn Olive has become a quickly spreading pest because of its multiple methods or reproduction. The plants produce roughly 200,000 seeds encased in small edible berries every year which are dispersed through birds, mammals and seed droppings. Along with the plant’s rapid seed dispersal rate, severed branches can also grow roots and become new plants. It has quickly spread across North America due to its rapid dispersal strategies.  

 

Special Considerations: The Autumn Olive can reproduce from forest fires which makes it very hard to control. Forest fires are used to help regulate forest growth and help certain species reproduce but this species will not die but thrive from it making it very sustainable. Most natural ways to control the autumn olive are ineffective when managing the species leading human interference to be required in order to reduce the infestation.

The fruit of the Autumn Olive also contains extremely powerful antioxidant properties including 40-70g of lycopene per 100g serving making it one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants. The berries can be used for a wide range of recipes including jams, fruit lathers and wines.

 

Critical Assessment and Management Options:

        Autumn Olive has been taking over the majority of the landscapes that it has been planted in since their introduction. The ability to predict when and where this species will become a problem would allow management to more effectively prioritize control efforts and implement the most efficient management practices available (Matthew R. Moore 2013). With regards to the control of this plant there are 3 options available. The options consist of, chemical control, removal control, shade control. These methods will be explained in the following paragraphs.

        Options such as chemical removal, is a very costly method of controlling the plants along with harmful to the area around the plants. The chemicals would be applied to the tree in order to kill it without it being able to repopulate during the process. This method would be very effective on killing the tree but it could have some adverse affects on the surrounding wildlife. Since a variety of animals and birds consume the berries it is possible that they could ingest the poison if it were to get on the berries. In order to prevent occurrences like that the chemical removal method would have to be done in the spring and summer seasons before berries grow in through the fall and persist through winter. Otherwise the chemicals could end up harming the wildlife around the tree. Along with that the price of the chemicals is not cheap, since the chemicals being used for the removal.  The plant can be cut with a chainsaw, hand saw, or brush mower. A formulation of glyphosate, in a 20-50 percent solution, is then applied immediately to the cut stump surface by using a low pressure hand held sprayer. This type of treatment has proved effective in killing the root system and preventing resprouting when applied late in the growing season (Jackson, 2017). This method is much safer for the species around the plant if done this way since there is lower risk of contact with the chemicals.

        Another possible way to remove the plant is through uprooting it physically. Doing so would have to be done in different ways depending on the size of the tree. The size of the tree would dictate if you would need larger instruments to pull/dig it up from the ground as well as if it needs to be chopped down first before so. For instance if it was around 7ft tall it would be better to level it down first with a chainsaw before the initial uprooting of the tree itself. The tree could not just be cut down since it will splinter outward with shoots to rapidly to replace what it had lost. That is why the roots must be dealt with if you are not using chemicals as a form of removal. The cost of this will depend on the sizes of the trees themselves as stated before equipment and labour wise. Knowing that it would not be as expensive as the chemical process itself, but it is definitely more lengthy and harder to do. This method is one that is not as effective for that reason but the full removal of it ensures that there will be nothing left to grow.

        The last way to control Autumn Olive is through shade. Though this process does not directly remove the tree itself it has been tested to reduce the spread of the trees. Making them stay in close quarters of one another. Sites where autumn olive was present were found most often on primary roads with an average road canopy closure of about 50%. Autumn olive was encountered least on secondary and tertiary roads and where road canopy closure averaged 65%. (Moore, 2013). After some experiments it was found that Autumn Olive spread less in areas where there was canopy cover compared to open space. They predominantly grew around 5-10m away from the mother tree than that of open areas. Though the species still will spread it will be more contained and managed better under shade compared to that of direct sunlight. After two growing seasons, 61% of the forest understory contained AO, an increase of 26%. (Dornbos, 2016). Though numbers escalated during tests on the difference in growth rate the overall number was less than half of what was found in an open environment. Therefore this method is one that does not directly help to remove the Autumn Olive, but rather slow down their reproduction rates.

 

                                    

 

Critical Assessment:

There are many management strategies used in the past to reduce autumn olive populations. Likely the least effective strategy for reducing the species is by cutting the plants. This strategy is counterproductive due to the plants ability to grow roots from severed branches and regrow from a stump (Black, 2007). The most effective management method to date is cutting the tree and applying herbicide to the cut area (Global invasive species database, 2005). The only setbacks with this method is the cost of herbicides and the potential dangers of working with harmful chemicals in the environment. Any attempts to eradicate the plants through prescribed burning is proven futile because the autumn olive is a nitrogen fixing plant which often results in it being amongst the first species to reestablish after a fire has occurred (Global invasive species database, 2005). Though pulling out plants that are less than two years old can be effective when done correctly, it is not a long-term solution to the autumn olives colonization. This is because it is impractical to attempt to remove full grown 20-30 foot tall plants and the young plants will regrow if any roots are left intact. Lastly, If the autumn olive is left alone with no management it is likely they will spread into Western provinces though it may be beneficial to allow the plants to grow in disturbed areas to help balance nitrogen levels. .  The plant can be cut with a chainsaw, handsaw, or brush mower. These cuttings will be removed by putting the larger sections though a wood chipper, the chips stored for use in the future. Plot data indicate that treatments of both stump/ glyphosate and basal bark/Garlon 4 result in very high kill rates. Plants that survive these treatments generally exhibit malformed regrowth or partial top kill; typically this was not observed (Delanoy, 2007). This same treatment was used on buckthorn and has proven to have a very high mortality rate among the plants it was performed on. A formulation of glyphosate, in a 20-50 percent solution, is then applied immediately to the cut stump surface by using a low-pressure hand held sprayer. This type of treatment has proved effective in killing the root system and preventing re-sprouting when applied late in the growing season (Jackson, 2017). This method is much safer for the species around the plant if done this way since there is lower risk of contact with the chemicals.

 

Table 2: In this table you can see the different management options with the factors that are involved in each of them.

 

Management Strategy:
In this plan, there will be information regarding the process and maintenance that will be required for the management of the Autumn Olive. The plan that will be used will be cutting the tree down to a stump and following up with an application of herbicides to the stump. Chemical control is the most effective method for controlling autumn olive. Numerous techniques exist for applying herbicides. But, the cut stump treatment is probably the most effective method (Jackson, 2017). Regarding the herbicides being used for this process a series of Class 9 pesticides will be used in non-homeowner areas since those are not permitted for cosmetic use unless certain actions are performed. Autumn Olive is a very resilient plant that can survive in very harsh and nice conditions making it a hard foe to manage if done improperly. With the use of this management strategy this plant should be able to be removed effectively. These methods have been proven effective with the use of these herbicides can provide total kill with little or no regrowth the following year (Missouri Department of Conservation). With their resistance to simply cutting them down along with burning them more powerful methods must be considered when managing the Autumn Olive.

 

The Process of Killing the Autumn Olive:

To start the process obtaining all the pesticides and equipment needed for the killing/stunting of the Autumn Olive’s growth. After performing the cutting and spraying of the herbicides the autumn olive will either be killed then or at the very least have their growth slowed down exponentially. The first process would be cutting down the tree, this can be done with a handsaw or chainsaw depending on the equipment available. A formulation of glyphosate, in a 20-50 percent solution, is then applied immediately to the cut stump surface by using a low-pressure hand held sprayer (David R. Jackson 2017). Glyphosate can be applied to the stump but there are also other options such as dicamba or 2,4-d. The overall process is proven to be more effective during July-August before they bear fruit. While applying the herbicides to the cut stump care is taken so that surrounding vegetation is not affected by them. After the application is done there is not much to do besides monitor the area after to check if the process worked effectively or not and reapply techniques if necessary.

 

References:

Black, B ‘Autumn Olive, Weed or new Cash Crop?’  (2007) Retrieved from:

www.fruit.cornell.edu/berry/production/pdfs/autumnolive

 

Corace, I. G., Leister, K. P., & Brosnan, E. (2008). Efficacy of Different Glyphosate Concentrations in Managing Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) Resprouts (Michigan). Ecological Restoration, 26(2), 111-113.

 

David R. Jackson. 2017. Autumn Olive.Penn State University. Available to public Online: http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/forests/private/tools-resources/publications/invasive-plants-and-insects/autumn-olive

 

Delanoy, L., & Archibold, O. (2007). Efficacy of Control Measures for European Buckthorn ( Rhamnus cathartica L.) in Saskatchewan. Environmental Management, 40(4), 709-718. doi:10.1007/s00267-006-0409-1

 

Dornbos, J. L., Martzke, M. R., Gries, K., & Hesselink, R. (2016). Physiological competitiveness of autumn olive compared with native woody competitors in open field and forest understory. Forest Ecology And Management, 372101-108. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.03.051

 

Lee,T.D., Eisenhaure, S.E., & Gaudreau, I.P. (2017). Pre-logging Treatment of Invasive Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) Promotes Regenderation of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.). Forest (19994907), 8(1), 1-12. Doi:10.3390/f8010016

 

Michigan Department of Natural Resources. (2012). Invasive species-best control practices Autumn Olive. Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Online references: found at- https://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/invasive-species/AutumnOliveBCP.pdf

 

Moore, M. R., Buckley, D. S., Klingeman, I. E., & Saxton, A. M. (2013). Distribution and growth of autumn olive in a managed forest landscape. Forest Ecology And Management, 310589-599. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2013.08.056

 

Global invasive species database ‘Autumn Olives’ (2005) Retrieved from:

www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp

 

Nagel, L. M., Corace, I. G., & Storer, A. J. (2008). An Experimental Approach to Testing the Efficacy of Management Treatments for Glossy Buckthorn at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Upper Michigan. Ecological Restoration, 26(2), 136-142.

Nature.org (2016) Retrieved from:

www.nature.org/ouriniatives/region

 

Walker, B ‘The Views of Autumn Olives’ Dave’s Garden (2012) Retrieved from:

http://www.davesgarden.com

 

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Northern Pike, (Esox lucius) and Smallmouth Bass, (Micropterus dolomieu) – Management Strategy

Written by: Lindsay Bagg, Trevor Vanderkooy, Victor Del Dotto, Joe Atkinson and Brianna Grieves

Legal Factors

Lindsay, ON exists within Zone 17 as described by the Ontario Fishing Regulations. In Zone 17 there are currently few limitations set for fishing northern pike and smallmouth bass. The open season for northern pike exists all year long and opens the 3rd Saturday in June and ends December 15th for smallmouth bass. There are no size restrictions for either species but there are catch limits based upon the type of license the fisherman possesses of either 6 or 2 for each species. It is important to remember that these restrictions are only those for Zone 17, there are zones within Ontario in which Pike and Bass do have size restrictions. With 20 different zones in total there is a lot of variation. Legal implications exist for anyone who does not abide by these regulations (MNRF, 2017).

Management Strategy

Of course prevention is the most effective invasive management strategy, because once an aquatic invader establishes itself within the ecosystem, range expansion is almost inevitable and elimination is rarely a viable option (Zanden, Olden, Thorne, & Mandrak, 2004). Advocacy for responsible angling and education will be extremely important moving forward in the prevention of the further spread of northern pike and smallmouth bass. Unfortunately, with northern pike and smallmouth bass we are past the point of prevention in many areas. Establishing a set of laws and regulations that may allow angling and physical removal to be a viable method of control for populations of northern pike and smallmouth bass could be a long process of trial and error. Action could be taken by having the season for northern pike and bass open all year long in all zones where they appear as an invasive species and with no size restrictions. Limiting catch and release would be another important step towards effective management.

If laws and regulations were to be changed to allow for physical removal predicting which systems are likely to be impacted would be an important management goal. Few studies up until this point have been able to make quantitative predictions of aquatic invader impacts (Zanden et al., 2004). Though there are many studies that suggest a negative impact, further research is needed to determine whether or not invasive northern pike and smallmouth bass are truly a concern and detriment to their new ecosystems.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

As with many legal issues, making changes to laws and regulations can take time. Hoping for an overnight solution by means of angling would be misguided, to say the least. Many of the other more immediate methods of control can have a more negative impact on the system than beneficial. The huge challenge in the management of northern pike and smallmouth bass is finding the balance between negatively impacting an entire system and controlling the invasive populations. For this reason, angling seems to be the most viable option of management until more quantifiable research can be conducted regarding the impacts of these invasive species.

 Conclusion

As long as affected ecosystems are remaining stable, angling offers the best and least controversial method of management for the northern pike and smallmouth bass. Fishing selectively for northern pike and smallmouth bass has the lowest possible negative impact on the native species in the ecosystem and targets only the invasive. A re-evaluation of laws and regulations regarding the northern pike and smallmouth bass may be beneficial for complete removal but is not necessarily essential for management. Further studies regarding prediction of impact will be essential in the management of invasive aquatic species such as the northern pike and smallmouth bass. Predictions of impact will indicate which systems are most vulnerable and where to focus time and resources.

References

Zanden, M., Olden, J. D., Thorne, J. H., & Mandrak, N. E. (2004). Predicting occurrences and impacts of smallmouth bass introductions in north temperate lakes. Ecological Applications, 14(1), 132-148.

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) & Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) : Management Plan

Written by: Andrew Base, Ashley Prince, and Reid Van Kuren

Management Plan

This management plan provides detailed information regarding the most effective management option for water hyacinth and water lettuce that involves the least risk to the environment and the general population. Based on the benefits outweighing the costs, it is determined that the physical removal of the water hyacinth and water lettuce is the most effective option for control, as long as a small, but closed, market can be built around its removal. In this case, a closed market is a market in which profit is solely made for the progress of the management strategy. This approach is the most viable method, since much of the removed water hyacinth and water lettuce can be sold as feed for livestock like cows and pigs, or even be used as a biofuel additive (Mishima, 2008). Money generated from the sales of this plant can be used as a way to provide more funding towards management resources such as labour and equipment. This system does not create an increasing demand for the product, and would therefore does not necessarily create another market for the plant. If the plant was sold for potential medicinal properties after it’s harvested from targeted sites, there could possibility be an increase in demand for the product and would therefore contribute to the spread of water hyacinth and water lettuce in Southern Ontario. Previously, in Ontario (Azan, 2015) and in the southern United States (Langand, 1998), the physical approach has been implemented and seems to be the main tactic used my organization in North America.

In addition to this approach, the issue must also be addressed from a different angle. Not only do water hyacinth and water lettuce need to be removed from bodies of water in southern Ontario, but the driving factor for its introduction to water ways must be diminished. Seeing that water hyacinth and water lettuce are most commonly introduced to the natural environments via decorative ponds or aquariums, a public education plan must be set in place in order to engage communities in the prevention of its propagation and to encourage pond and aquarium business’ to stop selling both plants. Programs such as volunteer based river clean-up or invasive species bio-blitzes could be organized in partnership with organizations such as the OFAH of Ducks Unlimited. To add to these programs, pubic education nights and conferences can be hosted, along with efforts to build public pressure upon local governments to take action against the newly emerging invasive species. Strong social media can also reach many targeted interest groups across a broad platform.

Legal Factors

There are no laws conflicting with the physical removal of the invasive species, as it does not negatively impact the quality of the water that the invasive species resides in. Though in order to put more pressure on local and provincial governments to take action, the Clean Water Act (S.O. 2006, Chapter22) can be used as a stepping-stone towards involving communities in the management project. This act requires communities to monitor existing and possible threats to waterways, and to implement necessary actions to diminish the threat. It allows for public participation on all levels, in order for everyone to get the opportunity to play a role in the planning process of any mitigation or prevention plan against the invasion of water hyacinth and water lettuce for example. Finally, and most importantly, the Clean Water Act of Ontario requires that all plans and projects must be “based on sound science” (Clean Water Act, 2006). In turn, the Provincial government of Ontario will have more reason to add water hyacinth and water lettuce to the Invasive Species Act’s list of invasive species.

Water bodies in Ontario are mostly considered crown land managed by the ministry of natural resources under the Public Lands Act. The Public Lands Act (PLA) applies to the use of provincial crown land and shore lands, excluding the use of federal lands and water bodies, such as, the Trent Severn. The removal of invasive species come with rules; Ontario Regulations 239/13(section 9), and the Endangered Species Act (MNR. 2016). These rules include that the species is on your property limits, only remove the invasive species, and proper disposal of plant. In the case of chemical removal or biological removal a work permit would need to be granted under the PLA. Rules to be followed are also found under the PLA.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Even if this management project may seem simple and small in scale compared to other efforts focusing on more prominent invasive species, such as Giant Hogweed and Asian Carp, this plan still faces many challenges. Most importantly, the issue of funding poses as the largest hurdle in this project. Without any form of income or outside support, no action can be taken against the spread of water lettuce in the waterways of southern Ontario. Secondly, industry that supplies water lettuce is to root cause of its current spread throughout natural water bodies in our region. Actions must be put in place in order to limit the sale of, or at least discourage these industries from selling water lettuce. Finally, in order to highlight the importance of the current issue facing water lettuce in southern Ontario, public knowledge and education programs must be put in place. This will prove to be one of the most important factors that will allow us to reduce the dispersal of the invasive aquatic plant. The following table highlights the issues, their challenges and the potential solutions that are suggested in order to effectively coordinate a management strategy against the spread of water hyacinth and water lettuce.

Table 3. Funding, public awareness of the issue and the water lettuce industry are the most prominent issues facing the management of water lettuce in Ontario.

Issues Challenges Solutions
Funding The challenge is finding the funding to pay for labour, equipment and other necessary resources required for managing the invasive species. -Selling collected water hyacinth and water lettuce as biofuel or even as live stock feed.

-Running volunteer and community based programs in order to deal with the issue in a cost effective manner.

-Gain support from local government, in order to receive funding.

-Apply for grants.

The “Water” plant Industry The decorative pond and aquarium industry is largely the reason why water hyacinth and water lettuce has spread so much in southern Ontario. The sale of this plant is not under any form of control. -Educate the general public about the issue.

– Social pressure from communities for stores to halt the sale of water hyacinth and water lettuce may be effective on the small scale.

-Lobbying to add the plant on the Prohibited List of the Invasive Species Act would have the largest impact.

Lack of Public Knowledge Reaching out to a broad range of individuals may prove difficult. Engaging communities may be even more difficult to accomplish -Hold conferences

-Organize shoreline clean-ups and bioblitzes

-Develop a strong media presence.

-Develop partnerships with organizations such as Ducks unlimited or OFAH.

Conclusion

The physical removal of water hyacinth and water lettuce paired with the establishment of a public education program is the ideal method for addressing the spread of water hyacinth and water lettuce. This multi-faceted approach tackles the current issues that water ways in Southern Ontario face in regards to water hyacinth and water lettuce, and also addresses the main source of the spread of the plant. Since this plan involves sound scientific research, community involvement and sound ecological practices, this management plan will ideally be successful upon its undertaking.

References

Azan, S., Bardecki, M., & Laursen, A. E. (2015). Invasive aquatic plants in the aquarium and ornamental              pond industries: a risk assessment for southern Ontario ( Canada). Weed Research55(3), 249-          259. doi:10.1111/wre.12135

Baker, H. (2015, February 2). NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS).           Retrieved February 18, 2017, from               https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/greatlakes/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=15&Potential=Y&Type=2      &HUCNumber=

Cilliers, C.J. (1991). Biological control of water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes (Araceae), in South Africa.          Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 37(1-3): 225-229.

DMCA Complaint. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2017, from        http://www.varsitytutors.com/act_science_28-problem-32660

EDDMapS. 2017. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia – Center for            Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Available online at http://www.eddmaps.org/; last      accessed January 26, 2017.

Harley, K.L.S., R.C. Kassulke, D.P.A. Sands, and M.D. Day. (1990). Biological control of water     lettuce, Pistia stratiotes (Araceae) by Neohydronomus affinis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).   Entomophaga 35(3): 363-374.

Langeland, K.A., and K.C. Burks. 1998. Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida’s natural           areas, p. 20. University of Florida. Gainesville, FL.

 

Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)- Management Strategy

Written by: Brittany Williams, John North, Cole Brodeur, Mitch Dwyer

Management Plan: There are a variety of factors that show that doing nothing for the removal strategies in some areas may be the best method. In some cases, starry stonewort has already completely taken over and has extremely dense mats. With some removal efforts it can increase the chances of fragmentation and spreading the bulbils to new areas in the lake. In addition, native species such as bladderwort and coontail have actually been found to thrive in infested areas. Whereas, it has been found to outcompete non-native species such as Eurasian water-milfoil, curly leaf pondweed and fanwort (Pullman & Crawford, 2010). In areas where starry stonewort is dense and has taken over it is more beneficial to let the natural factors work itself out and eliminate the potential for fragmentation. This would mean starry stonewort covering more than 70% of the area. If there are areas where starry stonewort has recently established and has not fully taken over removal must occur. This would mean the starry stonewort plants covers only 30% or less of the area. This will eliminate the potential for the population to increase exponentially in size within a short. In Pullman & Crawfords (2010) research, they observed that chemical removal may be the better method. This will also decrease the chance of fragmentation and ecosystem disturbance. Overall, the best management plan for starry stonewort in dense areas is to do nothing, newly established areas to do chemical removal, and to increase the education and research being done.

Legal Factors: A legal implication that must be considered in Ontario is the Invasive Species Act. This act differentiates between restricted and prohibited invasive species and the actions that must be taken for particular species. Another legal implication would be the Fish and Wildlife Act and Endangered Species Act in Ontario. This would ensure that removal efforts will not cause harm to any species listed in these acts. It may also show the importance of removing starry stonewort if it is causing environmental harm to species listed. Lastly, if the chemical removal method is taken the Pesticides Act must be followed to ensure no additional harm will occur. The Pesticides Act will give more insight about who needs to have a license, who can get a license, how to get a license, and the importance of licenses according to the law. The Pesticides Act would also give more insight to information on application. This will include areas which pesticides cannot be used, when application can occur, who can physically apply them, and the volume at which can be added.

Increase Education and Research: No matter what removal plan is implemented, education and research must be increased for starry stonewort. There are three issues that currently exist with starry stonewort: lack of public knowledge, the potential for spread from human activity, and the similarity between other species leading to misidentification. To eliminate the issue of lack of public knowledge and spread from human activity increased education must occur. This can include making various booklets and pamphlets for conservation areas and environmental companies to have. This will allow the public to understand what starry stonewort is and the issues that may arise from it constantly spreading among bodies of water. In addition, having information boards at boat launch areas to lakes which either currently have or do not have starry stonewort. This will allow boaters to keep an eye out for starry stonewort and if they see a plant which may resemble it, then researchers will have an idea of areas to look out for. This will include boaters having resources of where to report these plants. This can include reporting through a website, in office at conservation areas, or through social media. It could also been done through EDDMapS, so that boaters can use the satellite imaging to have a rough idea of where the plants were. Researchers can then use these websites, EDDMapS, and in office observations. Another option which can decrease the chance of spreading among bodies of water, would be increasing the number of boat washing stations at boat launching areas. This will eliminate the chances of bulbils being stuck to motors and hulls. This may also decrease the chances of other non-native species spreading to new areas. On information boards, the impacts that starry stonewort may have on boats must be stressed. By emphasizing that starry stonewort can potentially get stuck in their motors and cause motor damage, this will show boaters the importance of using the boat washing stations. In addition to the issue of lack of awareness and spread from human activity, the increased education for researchers should also be emphasized. There are many different species in the same taxa (Chara and Nitella spp.) which means misidentifying starry stonewort is quite possible. This means that non-experts may not observe starry stonewort in an area, which can give the plant time to establish without our knowledge. A way to eliminate this issue is to increase online seminars which can be available for people doing research on starry stonewort. This will allow easy access for people to increase their knowledge of how to identify it, and eliminate the misidentification issue.

Removal of Newly Established Areas: In lake ecosystems where starry stonewort has recently established, or has very few plants, removal efforts are extremely important. By removing the small number of current plants that have established, it can eliminate the possibility of spreading in that area. In simplest terms, the two removal methods are chemical (algaecides or herbicides) or manual removal (harvesting machine). Although little research has been done on both methods, it can be concluded that chemical removal may be the better method for smaller infestations. The specifics as to which specific algaecide would be used for removal will be decided after more research. This would include the success rate on removal efforts between different algaecides. Potential algaecides to use could include: Cultrine Ultra, Hydrothol, and PondMaster products. In Michigan, mechanical harvesting was used for removal efforts in Indianwood Lake. Since the biomass was so large, the removal efforts took a long time because it was filling up the harvesting machine so quickly (Pullman & Crawford, 2010). In this particular area, it was observed that starry stonewort would actually  re- grow faster after mechanical removal than native species. This enabled a monoculture to be quickly created (Pullman & Crawford, 2010). This can be an example as to how algaecides may be a better removal method for smaller populations. By using algaecides for removal, it may decrease the ecosystem disturbance, kill plants more quickly, and be a better control (Pullman & Crawford, 2010). One major thing to note about chemical removal is sometimes it can create a “haircut treatment” where only the taller plants die off and it only reduces the height of the plant. Although this method will not completely eliminate a specific area, it can help decrease the chances of boats spreading the bulbils. This method can also be used near riparian zones of cottages, and boat launch sites to reduce the height of the plants. This will decrease chances of spread, and will increase human satisfaction for issues such as swimming, boating, and fishing. Pullman & Crawford (2010) state starry stonewort can be sensitive to common copper and endothall based algaecides and Cultrine Ultra (combined with other herbicides) can affectively suppress starry stonewort. In Stony Lake where Cultrine Ultra were used, starry stonewort did not increase and other plant species were able to reach the surface before starry stonewort entered its exponential growth phase (Pullman & Crawford, 2010). Although research still needs to be further completed as to which algaecide is the best to use, and when the prime application time is.

Conclusion: Overall, increased education and research must occur in all circumstances to increase awareness, increase proper identification, and to decrease spreading. If species are discovered sooner, then quick action can be taken to ensure spreading is decreased. In areas where starry stonewort has already taken over, it is best to leave it and allow the natural factors work itself out. In areas where starry stonewort is newly established and has not taken over, chemical removal should occur to decrease the chances of spreading.

References

Pullman, D., Crawford, G. (2010). A decade of starry stonewort in Michigan. LakeLine. pp. 36-42.

Coyote (Canis latrans)- Management Plan

Written By: Adam Bocskei, Emma Ross, Jesse Beauchamp & Madison Penton

MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

To construct the most effective management plan, there are some important points to first consider. These include the size and topography of pasture, the intensity of predation, the number and species of livestock, the farmer’s willingness to invest financially, and the public’s perception of the strategy. In all instances however, it is clear that not doing anything will continue to result in loss, and that potential attractants should be removed regardless of which management strategy is used. The two best options for management are guardian donkeys and guardian dogs. These strategies and their implementation will be explained below. The livestock owner should select the one that best suits his or her situation.

LEGAL FACTORS

The introduction of the LPD’s is a non-lethal management solution, therefore no legal permits need to be addressed or purchased to introduce this plan. A piece of legislation that may need to be consulted is the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act under the protection of property section, it states that one may harass, capture or kill the wildlife for the purpose of deterring it from damaging the one’s property. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act is a provincial legislation, but depending on the municipality there may be specific by laws pertaining to the introduction and number of livestock protection dogs that someone may have on their property.

ESTABLISHING GUARDIAN DONKEYS

Smith et al (2000) detail the most effective way for a guardian donkey to be implemented by a farmer. The use of livestock guarding donkeys should be implemented only when guarding sheep in smaller (< 240 ha), open pastures containing no more than 200 head of sheep or goat. If this is the case, a donkey will be the easiest and most effective management strategy. The donkey should be selected from medium to large stock, be female or a gelded male, and should be raised alongside the sheep from an early age. It should also be isolated from other donkeys, mules and horses as well dogs. A donkey’s effectiveness can be tested by gauging its reaction to a domestic dog introduced by a farmer. Donkeys that do not appear to be effective should be removed and replaced. As mentioned previously, a donkey is also less of a financial risk than a dog, with an average purchase price of $144, maintenance cost of $66, a life expectancy of 10-20 years, and no training required (Smith et al, 2000).

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

As with any management strategy there is always the potential for issues. Some of the issues that can happen when using donkeys as livestock guardians are getting a donkey that is not aggressive towards canids. There is a possibility of getting a non-aggressive donkey, so make sure that when you are selecting a donkey, which you know for a fact that it is bred to be a guardian or has a history of aggression towards canids (Andelt, 2004). Never get more than one donkey because they just want to stay together and lose interest in protecting the livestock. Donkeys work best in situations where there are few or just one threat at a time since they are unable to fend off multiple attackers (Andelt, 2004). Donkeys should be removed during lambing because they can disrupt the bonding between ewe and lamb. (Andelt, 2004).

ESTABLISHING GUARDIAN DOGS

According to VerCauteren et. al. (2012), before a dog can be implemented, it must first be trained. Training should begin with the process of bonding the dog to the livestock by creating a close association between the two. This bonding phase should begin when the pup is between 3 and 12 weeks of age. Human interaction with the dogs should be limited to training only. Dogs should be spayed at 6 months of age or neutered at 9 months of age to avoid the desire to roam and to reduce the risk of unplanned pups. A guardian dog is significantly more expensive than a donkey, costing between $850 – $1040 per year, with the initial purchase price of the dog varying by breed (VerCauteren et. al., 2012). This method relies on the use of living animals, and is therefore susceptible to problems (see table 2).

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

As with any management strategy there is always the potential for issues. Some of the issues that could be seen are dogs roaming outside of their range, aggression towards the livestock or towards humans or the dog does not guard the sheep (Smith et al 2000). A more detailed list of these issues and solutions can be seen in Table 2 (below) in order for this method to be successful one must dedicate substantial amounts of time and energy into the training of the dogs to try to stop any negative behaviors from occurring. If you are not able to do the training yourself the option of hiring a dog trainer would be the most effective option (VerCauteren, et al, 2012)

Table 2: Potential issues with livestock protecting dogs (adapted from   VerCauteren et. al., 2012).

PROBLEM BEHAVIOR
CAUSED BY
REMEDIED BY
AVOIDED BY
 Roaming ·         Excessive human contact

·         Dog was not spayed or neutered

·         Weakly bonded to livestock

·         Greater interest in hunting wildlife than protecting livestock

·         Fencing

·         Spay and Neuter

·         Replace breed or individual

·         Minimal attention to the dog

·         Raise dog with an already effective LPD

·         Spay and Neuter

Aggression toward livestock ·         Lack of discipline

·         Immaturity

·         Adolescence

·         Reprimand bad behavior

·         Shock collar

·         Replace breed

·         Temporary removal

·         Consistent

·         Raise with effective LPD

·         Minimize potential for boredom

Insufficient protection against offending species ·         Breed characteristics

·         Illness

·         Female in heat

·         Too few dogs

·         Replace breed that is more aggressive

·         Regular health care

·         Alternative prevention tools

·         Electrified fence

·         Use breed

·         Rear in area with offending species

·         Monitor health

·         Supply with alternative prevention tools

·         Employ more dogs

Lack of obedience and ability to handle ·         Insufficient training

·         Fearful temperament

·         Increase frequency of training

·         maintain regular contact until the dog is adult

·         avoid fearful pups

·         Early and consistent training
Lack of attentiveness toward livestock ·         Insufficient or bonding too late

·         Female in heat

·         Old dogs

·         Replace with effective dog

·         Medical checkup

·         Follow recommended bonding procedures

·         Monitor health

Insufficient patrolling of area to be protected ·         Too large of area

·         Lack of encouragement

·         Disperse resources: food, water, and shelter

·         Provide encouragement

·         Replace with more territorial breed

·         Conduct routine walks with dog within area to be protected

CONCLUSION

Livestock Guardian Dogs and Donkeys are the most effective and ethical management strategy for mitigating predation of Coyotes on livestock . Both of these are the best methods because they do not involve killing, trapping, or removing Coyotes therefore they do not require any legal documentation or permits to be implemented. Guardian dogs are effective when you have multiple threats and large herds of sheep to guard because they act as a pack to create a territory around the herd. This exclusion method works since other dog species like coyotes will not want to enter their territory and if they do the dogs will defend it. Guardian Donkeys are most effective for smaller herds with only a few or one major threat at a time because they are naturally aggressive towards canids and are very territorial. The best kind of management plan when it comes to native species like the Coyote  is one that satisfies the needs of all groups involved which is exactly what the option of Livestock Guardian Dogs and Donkeys do.

REFERENCES

Benson, J. F., & Patterson, B. R. (2013). Inter-specific territoriality in a Canis hybrid zone: spatial segregation between wolves, coyotes, and hybrids. Oecologia, 173(4), 1539-1550.        doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2730-8

Bourne, J. (2004, December 8). Protecting Livestock with Guard Donkeys. Retrieved from Alberta: Agriculture and Forestry: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex9396

Bozarth, C. A., Hailer, F., Rockwood, L. L., Edwards, C. W., & Maldonado, A. E. (2011). Coyote        Colonization Of Northern Virginia And Admixture With Great Lakes Wolves. Journal Of    Mammalogy, 92(5), 1070-1080. Doi:10.1644/10-Mamm-A-223.1

Crimmins, S. M., Edwards, J. W., & Houben, J. M. (2012). Canis latrans (Coyote) Habitat Use and Feeding Habits in Central West Virginia. Northeastern

Gehring, T. M., VerCauteren, K. C., & Cellar, A. C. (2011). Good fences make good neighbors:        implementation of electric fencing for establishing effective livestock-protection dogs. Human-         Wildlife Interactions, 5(1), 106-111.

Gehring, T. M., VerCauteren, K. C., & Landry, J. (2010). Livestock protection dogs in the 21st century: is    an ancient tool relevant to modern conservation challenges?. Bioscience, (4), 299.

Genetic and morphological differentiation of wolves ( Canis lupus) and coyotes ( Canis latrans) in                northeastern Ontario. (2012). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 90(10), 1221-1230.

Gilbert-Norton, L. B., Wilson, R. R., Shivik, J. A., & Zeh, D. (2013). The Effect of Social Hierarchy on               Captive Coyote (Canis latrans) Foraging Behavior. Ethology, 119(4), 335-343.       doi:10.1111/eth.12070

Grady, W. (1995). The World of the Coyote. Vancouver : The Sierra Club.

Hansen, I., Staaland, T., & Ringsø, A. (2002). Patrolling with Livestock Guard Dogs: A Potential Method to                 Reduce Predation on Sheep. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica: Section A, Animal Science, 52(1),      43-48. doi:10.1080/09064700252806416

Hilton, H. (1978). Systematics and Ecology of the Eastern Coyote. New York: Academic Press, Inc.

Hinton, J. W., van Manen, F. T., & Chamberlain, M. J. (2015). Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans). Plos ONE, 10(7), 1-17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132203

Magle, S., Simoni, L., Lehrer, E., & Brown, J. (2014). Urban predator-prey association: coyote and deer      distributions in the Chicago metropolitan area. Urban Ecosystems, 17(4), 875-891.       doi:10.1007/s11252-014-0389-5

Mastro, L. L. (2011). Life History and Ecology of Coyotes in the Mid-Atlantic States: A Summary of the       Scientific Literature. Southeastern Naturalist, 10(4), 721-730.

Meadows, R. (2006). Culling Coyotes Doesn’t Pay Off. Conservation In Practice, 7(3), 11.

Newsome, T., Bruskotter, J., & Ripple, W. (2015). When shooting a coyote kills a wolf: Mistaken identity or misguided management?. Biodiversity & Conservation, 24(12), 3145-3149. doi:10.1007/s10531-015-0999-0

Otstavel, T., Vuoric, K. A., Sims, D. E., Valros, A., Vainio, O., & Saloniemi, H. (2009). The first experience    of livestock guarding dogs preventing large carnivore damages in Finland. Estonian Journal Of              Ecology, 58(3), 216-224. doi:10.3176/eco.2009.3.06

Rinehart, M. E. (2011). Behaviour of North American Mammals. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

SCHELL, C. J., YOUNG, J. K., LONSDORF, E. V., & SANTYMIRE, R. M. (2013). Anthropogenic and       physiologically induced stress responses in captive coyotes. Journal Of Mammalogy, 94(5), 1131-               1140. doi:10.1644/13-MAMM-A-001.1

Swingen, M. B., DePerno, C. S., & Moorman, C. E. (2015). Seasonal Coyote Diet Composition at a Low-      Productivity Site. Southeastern Naturalist, 14(2), 397-404.

United States Department of Agriculture. (2015, July 23). Livestock Losses to Predators. Retrieved from Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service : https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/operational-activities/sa_livestock/ct_livestock_losses

VerCauteren, K. C., Lavelle, M. J., Gehring, T. M., & Landry, J. (2012). Cow dogs: Use of livestock   protection dogs for reducing predation and transmission of pathogens from wildlife to cattle.              Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 140128-136. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2012.06.006

Way, J. G. (2007). A Comparison of Body Mass of Canis latrans (Coyotes) Between Eastern and Western   North America. Northeastern Naturalist, 14(1), 111-124.

Wheeldon, T. J., & Patterson, B. R. (2012). Genetic and morphological differentiation of wolves (Canis      lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans)in northeastern Ontario. Canadian Journal Of Zoology, (10),             1221. doi:10.1139/Z2012-090

Young, J. K., Andelt, W. F., Terletzky, P. A., & Shivik, J. A. (2006). A comparison of coyote ecology after 25                years: 1978 versus 2003. Canadian Journal Of Zoology, 84(4), 573-582. doi:10.1139/Z06-030

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) – Management Plan

Written by:  Brandon Holden, Alison Kilpatrick, Jonathan Sukhra, Lily Vuong

IMG_20160705_110452
Canadian Kudzu population along the shores of Lake Erie near Leamington, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Mike Cowbrough (Cowbrough, 2016)

Management Plan

This plan provides details regarding the integrated management plan to eradicate Kudzu from Leamington Ontario. Due to the isolated nature of the kudzu population in Ontario, the recommended management strategy is prescribed burning followed by physical/mechanical removal. This method is labour-intensive and time consuming but can effectively eradicate the species from the province and, therefore, the country. At the Leamington site, kudzu has formed a blanket that extends 31 metres from the beach to the top of a steep south-facing bank, and has reportedly spread along 113 metres of the shoreline, covering roughly 0.35 hectares of land (Waldron, 2012; Lindgren et al., 2013).As the longevity of Kudzu seeds in the soil is unknown (Lindgren, 2010), this management strategy is to be repeated yearly until Kudzu has been eradicated from the site. Following eradication, yearly surveys of the site and surrounding area should be conducted to ensure Kudzu does not  re-establish.

The combination of both management strategies is required to tackle the Kudzu population at Leamington as each on their own would be insufficient or too costly/labour intensive. Prescribed burns are effective at reducing the aboveground biomass, but cannot destroy Kudzu root nodes or crowns (Lindgren, 2010). If the root nodes/crowns are allowed to remain, Kudzu can re-establish.

Mechanical removal of Kudzu, while labour and time intensive, has been shown to be effective at removing Kudzu. Challenges with this method come with large populations where the level of labour required would be prohibitive. Due to the Leamington population being relatively small, addressing Kudzu with mechanical removal would be feasible.

It is the combination of both management strategies that allow this management strategy to be successful. Burning the above ground biomass lessens the amount of work required for mechanical removal, and allows for easier access to the root nodes and crowns. These would have to be removed with hand tools such as shovels, axes and hand clippers as the terrain at Leamington doesn’t allow for heavy equipment.

This management strategy should be implemented once per season, during the summer, after Kudzu has dedicated energy to growing leaves and shoots but before seed pods are established. A secondary burn could be implemented later in the season (fall) to destroy any regrowth following the first burn/mechanical removal. This reduces the remaining energy available to the roots to re-establish the following year.

As kudzu may have originally been planted intentionally at the Leamington site to stabilize the bank, it may be necessary to establish a plan to plant native riparian vegetation to prevent the bank from eroding after kudzu has been removed.

Legal Factors

With the proposed management plan, there are a number of legal factors that need to be taken into consideration. Kudzu is not listed on the Ontario Invasive Species Act and so there are no restrictions or prohibitions with respect to transport, possession or propagation of the plant. The management plan does not rely on pesticides in any form so no considerations need to be made in regards to the Pesticide Act. In Ontario, prescribed burns need prior approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Ontario, 2016). After approval there are still a number of controls must be in place for the protection of private property and the public. There have to be licenced and qualified staff on site, everyone must be briefed as to their responsibilities during the burn, and communication between all parties must be maintained throughout the burn (Ontario, 2016 ).

Potential Challenges and Solutions

The biggest challenge to this management strategy is to ensure timely removal of Kudzu. The plan is designed to quickly destroy the current plants as well as promote seed bank germination in order to deplete it in a timely manner. To this end, ensuring removal of all root nodes and crowns is essential in order to reduce regrowth in subsequent years of the management plan. To ensure this happens, the mechanical removal portion of the management plan must be carried out in a thorough and comprehensive manner.

Conclusions

While Kudzu control can be a significant challenge in some areas, the Canadian population of the plant is small and isolated. The Kudzu population in Leamington represents a unique opportunity to eradicate the entire known population of the invasive plant from Canadian shores. As eradication is currently a viable option, every effort should be made while this holds true. The combination of prescribed burns followed by mechanical removal of root nodes and crowns provides the greatest chance at successful removal of Kudzu while limiting cost and chance of greater environmental degradation. The undetermined nature of kudzu’s introduction into Ontario makes it difficult to design an effective plan to prevent the reinvasion of the species in the future. The likelihood that it was introduced through intentional planting would mean that the only necessary action for the prevention of reinvasion would be to not consider the species for bank stabilization in the future

References:

Alderman, D. H. (2015). When an exotic becomes native taming, naming, and kudzu as regional symbolic capital. Southeastern Geographer, (1), 32.

Boersma, P. D., Reichard, S. H., & N., V. B. (2006). Invasive species in the Pacific Northwest.   Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Bergmann, C., Swearingen J, M. (2009). Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working       Group: Kudzu. Retrieved from: https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pumo1.htm

EDDMapS. 2017. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Available online at          http://www.eddmaps.org/; last accessed January 27, 2017.

Forseth Jr., I. N., & Innis, A. F. (2004). Kudzu (Pueraria montana): History, Physiology, and     Ecology Combine to Make a Major Ecosystem Threat. Critical Reviews In Plant    Sciences, 23(5), 401. doi:10.1080/073526804905150

Frye, M. PhD. (2010) Lessons Learned from Six Years of Kudzu Research. Cornell University.    Retrieved from: https://nysipm.cornell.edu/sites/nysipm.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/kudzu.pdf

Gigon, A., Pron, S., & Buholzer, S. (2014). Ecology and distribution of the Southeast Asian      invasive liana Kudzu, Pueraria lobata (Fabaceae), in Southern Switzerland. EPPO   Bulletin, (3), 490. doi:10.1111/epp.12172

Grebner, D. L., Ezell, A. W., Prevost, J. D., & Gaddis, D. A. (2011). Kudzu Control and Impact on Monetary Returns to Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners in Mississippi.        Journal Of Sustainable Forestry, 30(3), 204-223. doi:10.1080/10549811.2011.530559

Hinman, K. (2011). Kudzu: how a wonder vine unveiled by Japan at the 1876 centennial began    eating America. American History, (2), 38.

(2009, September 23). Invasive Plant Species Takes Root in Canada. CBC News Windsor.         Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca

Kartzinel, T. R., Hamrick, J. L., Chongyun, W., Bowsher, A. W., & Quigley, B. P. (2015).          Heterogeneity of clonal patterns among patches of kudzu, Pueraria montana var. lobata,    an invasive plant. Annals Of Botany, 116(5), 739-750. doi:10.1093/aob/mcv117

Kudzu. (2014). Kudzu (Pueraria montana). Retrieved from: www.ontario.ca/document/kudzu

Lindgren, C. J., Castro, K. L., Coiner, H. A., Nurse, R. E., & Darbyshire, S. J. (2013). The         Biology of Invasive Alien Plants in Canada. 12. Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa & Predeep. Canadian Journal Of Plant Science, 93(1), 71-95.       doi:10.4141/CJPS2012-128

Minogue, P. J., Enloe, S. F., Osiecka, A., & Lauer, D. K. (2011). Comparison of    Aminocyclopyrachlor to Common Herbicides for Kudzu (Pueraria montana) Management. Invasive Plant Science & Management, 4(4), 419-426. doi:10.1614/IPSM- D-11-00024.1

(2016, December 9). Prescribed Burns. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/prescribed-         burn#section-2

Rashid, H., Asaeda, T., & Uddin, N. (2010). The Allelopathic Potential of Kudzu (Pueraria       montana). Weed Science, 58(1), 47-55. doi:10.1614/WS-09-106.1

Smith, A. L., Hewitt, N., Klenk, N., Bazely, D. R., Yan, N., Wood, S., & … Lipsig-Mummé, C.   (2012). Effects of climate change on the distribution of invasive alien species in Canada:   a knowledge synthesis of range change projections in a warming world. Environmental        Reviews, 20(1), 1-16.

USDA Forest Service. (2004) Kudzu Pueraria montana. Retrieved from:          www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/invasiveplants/factsheets/kudzu

Wong, K. H., Li, G. Q., Li, K. M., Razmovski-Naumovski, V., & Chan, K. (2011). Review:      Kudzu root: Traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Journal Of Ethnopharmacology, 134584-607. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.001
Yang, X., Huang, W., Tian, B., & Ding, J. (2014). Differences in growth and herbivory damage   of native and invasive kudzu (Peuraria montana var. lobata) populations grown in the        native range. Plant Ecology, (3), 339. doi:10.1007/s11258-014-0304-4

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) – Ecological Profile

Written by: Alison Kilpatrick

Distribution: Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) is a perennial vine native to China, Korea, Japan, India and eastward through the Philippines (Lindgren, Castro, Coiner, Nurse, & Darbyshire, 2013). Populations of Kudzu have been noted outside of its native range in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, South America, Mexico, the United States, and now Canada (Pasiecznik, 2007). Kudzu was introduced into the United States in Pennsylvania and was widely encouraged to be planted by landowners (Forseth & Innis, 2004). It has since naturalized and spread west to Texas, east to Massachusetts, north to Michigan, and south to Florida (Lindgren et al., 2013). There have also been reports of Kudzu on the west coast in Washington and Oregon (Lindgren et al., 2013). Kudzu now covers approximately 3 million hectares of land in the United States and is estimated to be spreading by 50,000 hectares per year (Forseth & Innis, 2004).

Kudzu_World

Figure 1: Current global distribution of Kudzu, Pueraria montana (Base map: ESRI 2015; Distribution modified from EDDMaps)

Kudzu_Leamington

Figure 2: Kudzu range within Canada. Kudzu is currently limited to one small population on the shores of Lake Erie near Leamington, Ontario (Base map: ESRI 2015; Distribution modified from EDDMaps).

Habitat: Kudzu’s ability to establish itself in a wide range of conditions makes it a generalist species. It can be found in a wide variety of habitats including forests, shores, floodplains, fields, and disturbed areas (Lindgren et al., 2013). While it thrives in areas that are open and have well-drained, fertile soils, it can establish itself in nutrient-deficient soils due to its ability to fix nitrogen from  the atmosphere (Lindgren et al., 2013). Kudzu does not grow well in soils that are shallow or poorly-drained (Lindgren et al., 2013). It can grow in soils ranging from acidic (pH 4.5) to neutral (pH 7.0), but it does not do well in soils that have a high pH (Lindgren et al., 2013). Kudzu is most productive when it has access to full sunlight (Lindgren et al., 2013). It is sensitive to cold, so it is most successful in locations that have mild winters (mean temperature between 5-15°C) and hot summers (mean temperature over 25°C), but its roots are reportedly capable of surviving temperatures as low as -25°C (Lindgren et al., 2013).  For optimal growth, Kudzu requires at least 100 cm of precipitation annually, however the mean annual precipitation in the Leamington area is only 93 cm (Lindgren et al., 2013). This population is currently growing on a clay-rich slope on the shoreline of Lake Erie, where the mean temperature in January is -4.6°C and in July it is 22.3°C (Lindgren et al., 2013).

Potential For Infestation: Kudzu exhibits characteristics of r-strategists. r-strat_animal_yellowIt is a
perennial that can grow in unstable conditions, allocates little energy
into seed production but produces many seeds multiple times, and its seeds have a low probability of surviving the early stage of life (Lindgren et al., 2013). See Table 1 for the summary of Kudzu characteristics that support its classification as an r-strategist.

Table 1: Summary of the reproductive characteristics of Kudzu compared to those of K and r-selected species (Molles & Cahill, 2014; Forseth & Innis, 2004). Kudzu aligns best with the reproductive characteristics of r-strategists.

Characteristic K-strategist r-strategist Kudzu
Environment Stable Unstable Capable of establishing in disturbed areas
Mortality Higher probability of surviving to adulthood Lower probability of surviving to adulthood Most seeds do not establish as seedlings
Size Large bodied Small bodied Relatively small herbaceous vine
Fecundity Few offspring at a time Many offspring at a time Produces many seeds at a time
Frequency of Reproduction Multiple times over a prolonged period Once to multiple times over a short period Produces seeds every season
Energy allocation Higher energy allocated to producing offspring Lower energy allocated to producing offspring Low energy allocated to seed production, high energy allocated to extension growth

Survivorship: Kudzu  follows the Type III survivorship curve typical of plants (see Figure 3). Its seeds usually do not successfully establish (Lindgren et al., 2013). Therefore, this species has a low probability of survival in its early stage of life. Once established, Kudzu continues to grow through vegetative reproduction (Lindgren et al., 2013).

survivorship-curve

Figure 3: Survivorship curves (Image credit: Husthwaite, n.d.)

Dispersal and Vectors: Kudzu produces seeds annually and its seed pods can disperseVector_Human
up to 25 meters but most stay within 6 meters of their origin (Lindgren et al., 2013). However, despite the production of viable seeds, Kudzu seedlings are rare and usually do not survive to the following year when found in the wild (Lindgren et al., 2013). This suggests that seeds are not effectively dispersed or that there is something preventing seedlings from establishing (Lindgren et al., 2013). Therefore, the principal method of propagation of Kudzu is vegetative reproduction rather than sexual reproduction
(Lindgren et al., 2013). It spreads through rapid extension growth and frequent rooting of stems that contact the soil (Forseth & Innis, 2004). Humans are a primary vector for Kudzu dispersal as most long-distance dispersal has been through intentional planting by humans (Forseth & Innis, 2004). Kudzu’s method of introduction into Ontario is currently undetermined, though several possibilities have been considered including water dispersal across Lake Erie, bird dispersal, disposal of farming materials, or intentional planting for stabilization of the shore (Lindgren et al., 2013). However, there is insufficient evidence to support any of these methods as the source for the population in the Leamington area (Lindgren et al., 2013).
Special Considerations: Kudzu is an aggressive competitor because its rapid growth rate allows it to smother and shade other species before they can establish (Forseth & Innis, 2004). In addition, a compound that inhibits seed germination and plant growth has been found in Kudzu root and leaf extracts (Lindgren et al., 2013). High concentrations of this compound found in soil following Kudzu decomposition could be enough to result in allelopathic effects on some plant species (Lindgren et al., 2013). Through its ability to fix nitrogen in the atmosphere, Kudzu can alter an ecosystem’s nitrogen cycles and can potentially affect regional air quality (Forseth & Innis, 2004; Lindgren et al., 2013).

References:

EDDMapS (2017). Kudzu: Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Retrieved January 26, 2017 from https://www.eddmaps.org/distribution/viewmap.cfm?sub=2425

Forseth, I. N, Jr. & Innis, A. F. (2004). Kudzu (pueraria montana): History, physiology, and ecology combine to make a major ecosystem threat. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. 23(5):401-413.

Husthwaite, R. (n.d.). Survivorship curves [image]. Retrieved January 26, 2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_curve

Lindgren, C. J., Castro, K.L., Coiner, H. A., Nurse, R. E., & Darbyshire, S. J. (2013). The biology of invasive alien plants in Canada (12): Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa & Predeep. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 93:71-95, doi:10.4141/cjps2012-128

Molles, M., & Cahill, J. (2014). Ecology: concepts and applications (3 edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pasiecznik, N. (2007). Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu). Invasive Species Compendium. Retrieved January 26, 2017 from http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/45903

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus)

Written by: Sean Bryan, Jessie Harris, Narmeen Nweisser and Frank Zacharias

Management Plan

This plan involves two methods of management to eradicate White-tailed Deer in urban settings. The first method of management will be to sterilize the female deer in and around the urban settings. This will cause some problems due to the fact that this method causes young bucks (male deer) to enter the area trying to mate more with the females that are in heat. (Figura, 2014). We have decided to not use of abortifacients or other methods to prevent the female deer from going into estrus because we believe this will cause more stress on the deer that already have a lot to deal with. So to solve that problem we will also open the hunting season for a longer period of time. The management plan needs help from all aspects of the community from hunters, to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF), and even people in the community for monitoring. The hunters will be able to hunt for longer, potentially having more bonding time with people they love. The hunting will not be done in urban settings because of the fact that you can shoot a gun in urban settings. The deer will be hunted just on the outskirts of the urban setting making it hard for the males to enter the urban areas. This also allows them to be able to feed themselves and their families with the meat. For those reasons, we decided that having the hunting season open longer will not only help with our management strategy but also help with community connections. We also understand that some people in the community don’t agree with the method of hunting so instead of just opening the hunting season as a means of control can have a lot of deer killed. Therefore we will take a more ethical approach for closer to the urban area by using the sterilizing method. Monitoring of the populations of male and female deer will contribute to the success of this project and knowing if it will work.

Legal Factors

The management strategies that were chosen for this project will require a few different pieces a legislation and permits to be obtained to complete the work. For the deer season to be open longer we will need to be in close contact with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The MNRF will have to be contacted to have the hunting season extended. This will require a permit for within the boundaries of the urban area. This is done this way because there is no need to change the whole provinces’ hunting season just for a selected area. The MNRF will then come to a decision on whether or not to open the season longer [JF1] or not as part of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act. The MNRF will also be in contact for permits required to do the sterilizing of the deer. The permit will give us a set amount of deer that can be sterilized but will also indicate what training the people would need. This will require monitoring before the decision is made so the MNFR has all the proper data they need for their decision. This means there are legal implications from the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act which is at the provincial level (Ontario Government, 2016).

Challenges & Solutions

Some of the things we will encounter are legal challenges, community members not being okay with the new hunting laws and the male deer population increase. The legal encounters will be a challenge as they may be time-consuming and expensive to publish and figure out. We plan to solve that problem by making sure that the project is organized and all information is complete as fast and proper as possible. The MNRF may want a lot of research done on their habitats in and around the community which can be costly and also time-consuming. With the help of the community and trail cameras, we can fulfill all the monitoring needs as long as the community is willing to participate. The MNRF will need to make sure that the drugs for sterilizing methods are safe and legal. This part can be costly as the right testing needs to be done on the drugs to make sure everything will run smooth. The proper training will have to be decided upon for the surgical method by the MNRF. There are many sterilizing processes that have been done around North America already which can help in the process of complete this challenge. Inside urban areas, there are a lot of people that may not agree with the hunting season change. The option to just shoot as many deer as possible is an option for removing them from urban settings. So the “meet halfway” we will not be killing all of the deer but making an educated decision on what the right number should be. The male deer population increases after sterilizing methods have been done with the tubal ligation method. This will be one of our hardest challenges to deal with, we predict. When the deer move into an area we will be asking the hunters to be enjoying the outdoors more by having a longer season open. This problem can also be solved by having research done on how quick the male deer enter the area after sterilizing and then we can have the season start or continue from there.

Conclusion

By choosing both methods of non-lethal and lethal are what’s going to make this project succeed. If we only have the choice of the sterilizing methods we would not have solved our problem due to the research coming out of Cornell University saying that having the female deer sterile makes the young buck more attracted to them causing an increase in deer population. But also just killing all the deer would not be the best option as the conservation of the deer are still a very important part of this project to continue to have bonding time with family or friends while hunting. Some permits will need to be acquired for this project to be complete. This will be a costly project but the jobs and education that will be created through this project will be a great success.

References

Figura, D. (2014). Cornell University culls and studies its deer herd on campus using archers and ‘trap and bolt” method. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/08/cornell_universityh_culls_its_deer_herd_using_archers_and_trap_and_bolt_method.html

Ontario Government. (2016). Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-hunting- regulations-summary

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) – Management Strategy

Written by: Kyra Mckenna, Alex Hristovski, Sabrina Luppino, and Ian Henderson

himbalpermission
Figure 1: Himalayan Balsam, Impatiens glandulifera. (Landry, 2006)

 

Management Plan

The plan proposed is that of a three pronged approach, where 1) Himalayan Balsam will be placed on the invasive species list preventing it from being spread around by local gardeners. 2) Hand pulling in areas of low densities and 3) replanting in pulled areas to regain native habitat.

Using legislation to our advantage, Himalayan Balsam has a high chance of being “blacklisted” as an invasive species. Without this blacklisting there are still ways in which the battle of its movements can be fought, such as social media, conferences, and workshops. Thereby creating social pressure and at the very least informing the public about its destructive nature. This can help create the volunteers needed to help eliminate this species, as this will be very labour intensive due to the proximity to riparian zones, the size of the Himalayan Balsam, the large growth area and the repetitive nature of the work.

According to available research, Impatiens glandulifera has been difficult to control in the environment, or it has been disregarded, but it is now time to find an effective management plan to ensure it does not create an enormous problem that will be impossible to fix.                  

The proposed management plan that is likely to be most effective after Himalayan Balsam has been added to the Invasive Species Act is to hand pull Impatiens glandulifera, and plant Rhus typhina and Salix discolor saplings to restore the native biodiversity and establish bank stabilization.  The first step to this plan is to hand pick heavily invaded areas of Impatiens glandulifera with the help of volunteers, from the months of May to June, when the seedlings are established and rapidly growing, but have not reproduced yet (Clements et al., 2007). The roots of this plant are not extensive, so hand picking is not difficult, and it will not disturb the soil when removed, compared to hand pulling a deeply rooted plant. When out of the ground, it is safe to compost plants on site, as they will not have seeds yet (Clements et al., 2007). The amount of time and labour hand picking will take depends on the size of the invaded site we are managing. It is recommended to hand pick every two weeks during growing season to ensure all seeds are eliminated from the site (Cockel, et al., 2014). Required equipment will include gardening gloves. Once all the plants have been picked and transported to a composting site, the planting of native trees and shrubs by volunteers will occur in October when the tree and shrub roots are beginning to go dormant. This is important because nutrients are stored in the roots, and will be available to the plants when growing in the summer, as well as the least amount of stress will be put on the plants during the time they are going dormant. This step will most likely take two to three days as well, and the required equipment will include shovels and gardening gloves. This procedure will need to be repeated every year to reduce Himalayan Balsam’s territory by expanding the area and ensure that a healthy strong bank develops.

Legal Factors

Under the Pesticides Act, no “discharge of a pesticide” (Pesticides Act, 1990) into the environment is allowed, where it would cause more environmental harm than it would to the intended plant. Since the Himalayan Balsam is a widespread annual in riparian zones, the pesticide has a potential to damage a wide area quickly due to the capability of water to absorb pesticides and transport them to other ecosystems. Also, the Environmental Protection Act has to be taken into consideration as it monitors the concentration in which chemicals can be sprayed, thus making pesticides a complex problem with all sorts of issues relating to other legislation needed for our plan (Environmental Protection Act, 1990).

If Himalayan Balsam were an invasive species, its population would be reduced due to legislation, which can prohibit human transportation of the plant. This is indicated under Section 7 of the Invasive Species Act. Prohibiting an invasive species can be an effective tool in controlling it, but being declared an invasive species takes time. However, it is possible through Section 5 of the Invasive Species Act, which states that the Minister may temporarily declare a species to be listed as invasive, provided it fits under Section 4, Sub-section 3, as follows:

“1. The species’ biological characteristics.

2. The harm the species has had on the natural environment, if any, or is likely to have in the future.

3. The dispersal ability of the species.

4. The social or economic impacts of the species.”

(Invasive Species Act, 2015)

Himalayan Balsam falls under many of these categories having an extremely fast growth rate and the ability to outgrow and overshadow some small shrubs. This species can cause large amounts of damage to biodiversity dealing with the first two points (Rusterholz, 2014). Himalayan Balsam’s dispersibility, while not as widespread as some airborne plants, is numerous in its seeds as each plant has at least 2500 seeds per plant (Tanner, 2014).

Section 7 of the Invasive Species Act would be very helpful in restricting the Himalayan Balsam’s movements, as it prohibits its retail sales. In fact, this legislation prevents the transportation and planting of an invasive species. However, eradicating the species would be easier once it becomes an invasive species because we can obtain the authority to clean up the Himalayan Balsam and have the peace of mind that it is now harder to get it into the country. Using Section 10 allows for control methods to be implemented with the permission of the Minister. A management plan would be required and approved by the Minister, for a specified period of time in order to eliminate the species. Follow-up reports would be required to avoid the permit being revoked.

From a physical perspective, removing Himalayan Balsam in and near riparian zones and dealing with river ecosystems can be tricky as you need a survey to know if endangered species or species at risk are in the vicinity.  Permits may be required to deal with areas where endangered species are found; permits can be acquired from the Minister under Section 17 of the Endangered Species Act, which specifies that removing Himalayan Balsam is “.. Assisting in the protection or recovery of the species specified in the permit.” (Endangered Species Act, 2007). If there are species present in an ecosystem that are listed in the Species At Risk Act or Endangered Species Act, these acts must be followed. This should not be difficult because of the damages caused by Himalayan Balsam to the riparian zones, which directly affects various species health and diversity (Rusterholz, 2014).

Establishing the Solution

The main step to establishing this management plan is to determine the sparsely invaded sites in Ontario. It would be a poor use of time, money, and labour to remove communities of Impatiens glandulifera that are too dense for other native species to attempt to establish. Initially, research will have to be done to determine where in Ontario Impatiens glandulifera is established. This research will consist of teams travelling to areas in Ontario where the plant has been reported, and map the plant’s existence and report on the level of invasion. Once this step is complete, current knowledge of the plant’s existence will be available and the management strategy can begin.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

During the process of this management strategy, issues have the potential to arise. The most significant issue that could arise is the growth of the plant’s seed bank that is in the soil, or recolonization of Impatiens glandulifera, after the planting of native saplings has occurred. This is not likely to happen, as the newly planted area will not be suitable for Impatiens glandulifera establishment because it will not be a weeded, disturbed habitat (Clements et al., 2007). If this does happen, all we can do is hand pull the plants that have since grown or recolonized and hope that in the future when the tree saplings have matured, Impatiens glandulifera will have no desire to invade the area and the seed bank will be eliminated. Another challenge faced is the cost associated with the hours of labour required for removal. This cost can be reduced by utilizing citizens to volunteer for this role while being trained on proper removal.       

Conclusion        

In order to manage Impatiens glandulifera, the environment has to be undesirable for its invasion, and all individuals have to be removed from sparsely invaded areas so there is still a chance for native ground cover to establish. This can be done by hand pulling populations of the plant and planting Rhus typhina and Salix discolor saplings to deter future invasion of Impatiens glandulifera, regenerate native biodiversity, and restore stream banks that have been eroded. This plan does not require many resources, and with the help of volunteers, it can be completed in three months in a heavily invaded site. This plan works around Impatiens glandulifera’s life cycle to avoid the unintentional spread of seeds, and trees will be planted when they have nutrient and energy reserves to use when they begin growing in spring. It is a natural, environmentally sound decision that will provide many benefits to the whole landscape.

References

Clements, R. D., Feenstra, R. K., Jones, K., & Staniforth, R. (2007, November). The Biology of  Invasive Plants in Canada. 9. Impatiens glandulifera Royle. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 88, 403-417.

Cockel, C. P., Gurnell, A. M., & Gurnell, J. (2014). Consequences of the Physical Management of an Invasive Alien Plant for Riparian Plant Species Richness and Diversity. River Research & Applications, 30(2), 217-229. doi:10.1002/rra.2633

Endangered Species Act, 2007, S.O. 2007, c. 6

Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19

Invasive Species Act, 2015, S.O. 2015, c.22 – Bill 37

Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.11

Rockwood Forest Nurseries. (2015). Catalogues. Retrieved from             http://www.rockwoodforest.com/catalogues/

Rusterholz, H., Salamon, J., Ruckli, R., & Baur, B. (2014). Effects of the annual invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera on the Collembola and Acari communities in a deciduous forest. Pedobiologia – International Journal Of Soil Biology, 57285-291. doi:10.1016/j.pedobi.2014.07.001

Tanner, R., Jin, L., Shaw, R., Murphy, S., & Gange, A. (2014). An ecological comparison of     Impatiens glandulifera Royle in the native and introduced range. Plant Ecology, 215(8),       833-843. doi:10.1007/s11258-014-0335-x


      

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) – Management Strategy

By Reanna Moore, Kayla Berger, Ashtyn Dokuchie & Rhiannon Lace

Management Options

Over time, many management practices have taken place around the world, and few have had any lasting effect, especially when wild boar are not confined to islands. Among these options are:  shooting parties, culls and poisonings, government incentives, bounties, and using dogs (Oliver & Leus, 2008; Krull et al., 2016). While there have been marginal success stories with the extirpation of wild boar around the world, they have yet to occur in North America.

Killing wild boar (using whatever methods), has proven to be successful in removing the species only when they are completely eradicated; otherwise the species is able to bounce back, as history as demonstrated in Europe and Asia (Oliver & Leus, 2008). The total eradication of this species would be very difficult in North America, as they are incredibly adaptive and do not depend on a single food source or climate, and there is considerably more continuous land than in Europe. Furthermore, following the extirpation of the boar, there are consistent incidences of escape from farms, serving to potentially restore the population.

In several of the Southern United States, there is a bounty paid for killing wild boar, and they can also be found in restaurants as a main course. Despite years with these measures in place; the population persists. This fact would indicate that wild boar cannot be moderately controlled; if they are present at all in good conditions, then they will begin to thrive since they are ingenious at dispersing over large distances and repopulating.

The main reason to control wild boar is their tendency to destroy crops and to spread disease (as mentioned above). Since the environment (agricultural, rural) that promotes their survival cannot be controlled or kept from the wild boar, then it must be the other way around. Hence an important strategy for Ontario is to prevent wild boar from becoming an issue in the first place, and avoiding the heavy cost of destruction and difficulty of removing them entirely.

Management Matrix

           Considering that very few control strategies have found any degree of success alone, it seems that a combination of tactics would be most effective, some of which have been utilized, as well as some experimental and preventative measures to be explored as well.

Management Methods Cost Benefit Effectiveness
Shooting parties and poisonings – monetary

– time spent hunting for participants

– cost of poison

– personal danger involved

– killed boar can be used as food or sold

– less local destruction to agriculture

– although thousands of animals were eradicated this way, it had very little lasting effect
Bounties and use as food/trophies – monetary cost to government

– personal danger involved

– killed boar can be used as food or sold

– less local destruction to agriculture

– numbers were greatly reduced although not eradicated, likely due to the habitat restriction imposed by small islands
Eliminate the farming of wild boar, encourage hunting – monetary cost hiring researchers

– personal danger involved

– boar will be deterred from agricultural areas and pushed into the forest – numbers are reduced
This report will explore integrated monitoring and management techniques. – time and money for inventory

– cost to those profiting from game farms

– price of tagging

– boar will not become a problem

– avoids potentially millions of dollars of crop destruction

– if done well, there is a high likelihood for success

– program is adaptable based on conditions

– preventative rather than prescriptive

                          Historically, there have not been a wide variety of strategies employed to control wild boar populations, or adequate study to prove a significant level of effectiveness. As well, there are many seemingly contradictory situations in which boar are farmed (and escape), and hunters are encouraged to kill wild boar, while farmers continue to replace their stock, demonstrates a communicative disparity. Essentially, wild boar populations are maintained by human beings, and their desirability is dependent on their side of the fence.

           Management Plan

                      This plan provides details about managing wild boar populations under conditions specific to Ontario, and will discuss a combination of tactics and preventative measures to ensure that wild boars do not become a local issue. Damage to agriculture in the United States alone is estimated at 1.5 billion dollars annually, and this number is considered conservative, due to the difficulty of quantifying other negative impacts caused by wild boar, namely water contamination and interference with domestic pig populations (Tanger et al., 2015). In this case, preventative measures are much less expensive than a lack of action, which means allowing a local wild boar population to establish and dealing with the consequences.

                          In Ontario, there is no consistent population of wild boar, and historically sightings are only reported following incidences of escape from game farms, followed by several years without any record of wild boar. For this reason, measures will be outlined for preventing the initial establishment of a wild population, either from population immigration or game farm escapees, followed by methods to mitigate hypothetical growing populations under the failure of prevention.

                          The first method of control is to complete an inventory of Ontario’s game farms and boar populations. This could be instigated by a private organization or volunteers using an online database, to which the farmers have access. The inventory will include the number of boar, gender ratio, ages (mature versus juvenile) and location. As a further precaution, pigs could microchipped with a unique identification number. In case of an escape, the specific farm (with the distance from starting location) and the individual’s record could be recorded and taken into consideration for further decision making. It would be wise to collect data on farms outside of Ontario as well, in neighbouring states and provinces, since wild boar can disperse fairly quickly over large distances.

                          Due to recent data (shown below in Table 2.), as the number of farms using wild boar as alternative livestock has been declining in recent years, a cap on the number of farms may not be necessary, as long as there are regulations for containing, transporting and monitoring wild boar. The number of wild boar processed in registered meat plants (Table 3.) has remained consistent through the past five years, and as such the risk associated with wild boar escapes appears to remain constant, rather than growing.

Table 2. Census of Agriculture, selected livestock and poultry data, Canada and provinces, every 5 years (number) (Statistics Canada, 2012).
Ontario 2001 2006 2011
Wild boars Number of farms reporting 58 38 14
Number of animals 1,499 1,006 473
Average number of animals 26 26 34
Table 3. Number of Alternative Livestock and Gamebirds Processed for Meat in Ontario in Provincial and Federal Registered Plants Years: 2015 – 2011 (Tapscott, 2016).
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Wild Boar 487 536 561 392 396

           In continuation, it is advised to devise regulations applied to every farm containing wild boar in order to prevent escapes. There are currently no relevant regulations, as hunting wild boar on game farms (private hunting ground) does not require permits or game tags, and is neither covered by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, nor the Game and Fish Act. The protocol could include acceptable types of fencing to be used on farms and limits on the number of male boar within a given population. A penalty system for incidences of wild boar escape could be put in place to provide additional motivation to properly contain the species, starting with fines escalating in price (based on severity), before the right to possess wild boar entirely is removed.

            On the occasion that a wild population does become established, it would become necessary to ban the import of the species and implement limits (or prohibition) on breeding captive populations. There is already an authorization in effect from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, which allows for the killing of feral pigs under the authority of a small-game license. Each region could employ local groups of hunters or animal control units, to be deployed in case of a wild boar escape. This would involve determining the source of the escaped animal (by contacting nearby farms), and tracking the wild boar until captured or killed. An animal that has escaped once is more likely to attempt further escapes, and it may be necessary to kill the animal rather than returning it to captivity.

Furthermore, the MNRF has already requested that any sightings be reported immediately, and this fact could be publicized throughout social media and news bulletins in affected areas. If wild boar become an issue in Ontario, game farms and the possession of captive boar will be increasing regulated and if necessary, eliminated completely.

Legal Considerations

                      Laws relevant to the control of wild boar fall, for the most part, under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, although the act does not apply to farmed animals (Government of Ontario, 2017). The use of poison is prohibited under the FWCA, and keeping game wildlife requires a license under this act[JF16] . In acknowledgment of the negative potential of escaped wild boar, it would be advisable to offer a limited number of licenses to possess the animals within game farms in Ontario. The Trespass to Property Act is also important to consider if hunting or tracking of wild boar is to occur.

Wild boar sightings and killings must be must be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Legal Information, 2016). Wild boar are allowed to be hunted under the small games hunting act, this in under the fish and wildlife conservation act under section 54 (5). More information about sighting or reporting incidents can be reported to Mary Dillion, who is a management biologist with the MNRF.

 

           Potential Challenges and Solutions

                      The logistics of completing an inventory of game farms, and any other captive wild boar in Ontario and the surrounding area, may come to depend on the willingness of farmers and locals to participate. One source of motivation from their perspective, is that the prevention of wild boar escapees or an established wild population means that locals can keep their captive populations and businesses with less interference and regulation. Creating a centralized, online database would serve to make the inventory accessible and current, while ministry employees, volunteers or local animal control units could be employed to carry out the inventory, as well as randomized annual visits to ensure accuracy and compliance.

                          In the event of a wild population becoming established, a prominent idea to motivate hunters is to create a bounty for the killed animals. If this is done, it must be done with consideration that this may promote the breeding and subsequent release of animals, in order to attract the monetary incentive. A possible solution is that the bounty, in partnership with the tagging (with a unique identification number or barcode) of each animal, may serve to track the original location of the animal and its farm,  and as such, the farm’s right to possess the wild boar can be removed if there is a suspicious number of escapes. The idea of bounty becomes more realistic in tandem with the inventory described above, although it must be approached with caution nonetheless.

           Conclusion

                          In conclusion, while there are no significant populations of wild boar currently in Ontario, their presence in neighboring provinces and states, as well as their proficiency in colonizing new ecosystems and regions indicates that they are a realistic threat to Ontario’s crops, biodiversity and local captive pig populations (Pastick, 2014). With the cost of destruction to other regions in mind, preventative methods immediately present the most viable solution and prove to be much more practical and cost effective than allowing wild boar populations to establish. It is recommend that an inventory of game farms and other captive wild boar in and around Ontario be taken, while the import and transportation from outside sources be regulated and monitored. The farms possessing wild boar as game animals or alternative livestock will require a certain level of fencing and monitoring to take place. Each individual animal must be microchipped and any wild boar escapes recaptured immediately. This proactive approach will prevent Ontario from re-living much of the destruction that the rest of the world has suffered, and a rare opportunity to learn from other regions and countries, prior to making the same mistake.