top of page

What is an Invasive Species?

Invasive species are non-native organisms, including plant, animal, insect and pathogen species, that are introduced outside of their native range, and are able to outcompete native species for resources and space. They often lack their natural population controls such as predators and, as a result, can reproduce and spread quickly. They are very adaptable and have the ability to transform entire ecosystems.

Invasive species are a major concern worldwide and continue to plague land and water managers at a national, provincial and local level. The threat of established or potential introduction of invasive species will continue to impact our economy and environment with international trade, climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation

What is CLOCA Doing?

Invasive Species Management Strategy

Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA), like other Conservation Authorities across the province, has put in place an invasive species management strategy to protect watershed biodiversity, and reduce the social and economic impacts on our communities.


CLOCA's Invasive Species Management Strategy (2017-2027) is a 10-year action plan that provides direction for CLOCA's various departments. This tool will be used to promote discussion amongst our watershed management partners and assist us in securing long-term support to fulfill the objectives set out within the strategy.

The guiding principles of this document are to prevent, detect, respond and manage invasive species in our watershed.  This strategy guides us as we prioritize species for management, examine and update internal policies and procedures, educate and reach out to engage stakeholders and develop communication products to address invasive species.  We regularly implement the principles of our Invasive Species Management Strategy in our watershed including through our Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program. 

Current Invasive Species
Monitoring and Management

Images courtesy of

Outreach and Education

Community Engagement 

As part of CLOCA’s Invasive Species Management Strategy, staff regularly participate in education and outreach events such as the Oak Ridges Trail Association Adventure Relay, Thickson Woods Land Trust Nature Festival and many other local community programs.

Municipal and ENGO (environmental non-governmental organization) Engagement


CLOCA actively engages municipal staff in projects regarding invasive species. We have hosted, in partnership with municipalities and non-profits such as the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, workshops for municipal, provincial, and ENGO staff on topics such as species-specific management, clean equipment protocols and management strategy planning.

We'll Come To You!

or provide a presentation.

We're happy to attend your event

Horizon Scanning:
On the lookout for potential up-and-coming. . .

There is a constant threat of new invasive species emerging as a result of globalization and increased trade between different countries and continents.  CLOCA collaborates with ENGOs including the Invasive Species Centre, the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, and both the federal and provincial governments to stay up-to-date on new and emerging pests.

Be on the lookout for some potential up-and-coming invasive species:

Images courtesy of and

What YOU Can Do

Plant Native! - Where possible, use native plants in your landscaping. Helpful resources:

Know Your Invasives!  - Learn to identify invasive species by using these great resources:

Invasive Plant Species book cover
Invasive Aquatic Plant Species Book Cover
Image by Joshua Ralph
Report a Problem

Report Invasives! - If you see an invasive species, report it to EDDMapS Ontario or contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.

Stay on the Trails!  - Always remain on designated trails and keep pets on a leash to avoid disturbing natural habitats. Invasive species often thrive in disturbed areas and their seeds can travel on you and your pets.  Staying on the trails will also help keep you safe.  Learn to identify Central Lake Ontario Conservation's most untouchable plants.

Give Them the Brush Off! - Clean off your footwear and all equipment before you go from one natural area to another. This includes all surfaces of canoes, boats, bikes, fishing equipment, ATVs, walking sticks and evens skis, snowmobiles and snowshoes in the winter.

Image by Kenrick Mills


To participate in CLOCA work days, contact Yvonne Storm  or sign up for our newsletter for regular updates on volunteer events.

To participate in Phragmities removal events at Heber Down Conservation Area, contact Roy Mosher

Education Your Class!  -


Grades 6-12: Book CLOCA's Alien Invaders education program.  In this program students will explore different habitats, discover the difference between native, non-native and invasive species, and be introduced to various local invasive species.  They will learn how these alien invaders are impacting habitats, as well as the characteristics that enable them to become such incredible trespassers.  

Grades 9-12:  Participate in the To Beat it We Eat it program at Purple Woods Conservation Area. In this program high school students have the opportunity to learn about the invasive garlic mustard, remove it from the forest and head to the kitchen to make some delicious garlic mustard pesto.  For more information, contact Roy Mosher.

Image by Jaimie Phillips

Managing Your Own Property? 

The Ontario Invasive Plant Council has developed a suite of resources to help you manage invasive species on your property:

Additional Resources  -


The Ontario Invasive Plant Council has developed a suite of resources to help you manage invasive species on your property:

Tropical Plant

Our Partners

Invasive Species Center logo
Ontario Invasive Plant Council logo
Ontario Invasive Species Awareness Program
MapS Ontario Early Detection  & Distribution Mapping System logo
bottom of page