Invasive species are plants, animals, aquatic life and micro-organisms that out-compete native species when introduced outside of their natural environment and threaten Canada’s ecosystems, economy and society. They can come from across the country or across the globe.
In Canada, there are hundreds of invasive species including insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, aquatic and terrestrial plants, marine and freshwater fish, algae, fungi, and molluscs. About 10 per cent of all plants are also considered invasive species.
Some better known examples of invasive species in Canada include the emerald ash borer, zebra mussels, sea lamprey and purple loose-strife.
Invasive species generally share common characteristics which can make them difficult to control and contain. These characteristics include higher rates of reproduction, fewer natural predators and the ability to thrive in different environments.