Scotch invaders

Update added late on May 22: When last seen, the Scotch invaders were retreating.

Ecology has a lot to do with balance. On International Biodiversity Day, May 22, 2009, Michael Wolfe will draw on his skills as a conservation biologist, educator, and Garden City Lands expert to guide humans who care about the ecological balance of the lands.

Scotch heather

This year, the theme of International Biodiversity Day is invasive alien species. One could think of it as Invasive Species Day, and we do.

Humans have had a lot to do with Garden City Lands invasive species like Himalayan blackberry and Scotch heather. Richmond humans even buy Scotch heather for their gardens, but the seeds that find their way to the bog do a lot of harm to native species by crowding them out. Michael will help the human visitors to distinguish harmful invaders from natives.

Unlike most invaders, humans can help restore the balance. In a symbolic but useful way, the Michael-led humans will do that. Fortunately, the bog is pretty good at resisting the Himalayen blackberry, so it won’t be necessary to root out thorny brambles. Fortunately also, humans can vanquish the relentlessly invading Scotch heather with their bare hands, although gloves such as old work gloves are recommended.

On Invasive Species Day, eco-touring humans can pace themselves as they see fit, and the battle with the Scotch invaders will take no more than a third of the ninety-minute tour time. Still, the human action will be a step in the right direction, and the lands will be a little more ecologically balanced at the end.

The Invasive Species eco-tour of the Garden City Lands starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 22. Please read more about it and join in.


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