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Kootenay Invasive Plants

Welcome to the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee

CKIPC map small Apr1 14
The Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee (CKIPC) is a non-profit society comprised of concerned local citizens, land managers, government and non-government agencies who are working to improve the way we manage non-native invasive species in the Central Kootenay region.

Invasive species have been introduced to Canada intentionally and accidentally, and can have impacts socially, economically and environmentally. These introduced, non-native species establish and spread successfully due to a lack of natural predators and controls. Invasive species are highly competitive and have the ability to outcompete native plant and animal species, impacting fragile native species and ecosystems.

Biodiversity is impacted negatively by the incursion of invasive species. In fact, invasive species are considered to be the second greatest threat to biodiversity globally. Whether introduced intentionally or accidently, these species can create ecosystems wide changes or may negatively impact species on an individual level.

An example of a local species, which is being negatively impacted by invasive plants, is the western painted turtle. The western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) is the only freshwater turtle native to B.C. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has evaluated western painted turtle populations in B.C. and has determined that in southwestern B.C. they are considered an "Endangered" species.

This highly specialized animal requires sandy shorelines in which to lay their eggs, the same soils that spotted knapweed and other invasive plant species inhabit. Invasive plant species can degrade nesting beds and result in direct mortality to developing hatchlings through root penetration into eggs and hatchling entanglement. This has been recently observed first hand near Argenta and Cranbrook. The picture to the left illustrates the root penetration and hatchling entanglement that can occur from spotted knapweed infestations. To learn more about the western painted turtle and knapweed entanglement see the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Current Newsletter. For more information related to the impacts that invasive species can have socially, economically and environmentally, please go to our resources page.