Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program
Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to Ontario’s biodiversity and the health of our lakes, forests, and wetlands. In 1992, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, established the Invading Species Awareness Program to address the critical threat that invasive species pose to Ontario’s biodiversity.
Since 1992, we have worked cooperatively to prevent the introduction of invasive species through multiple pathways, including recreational watercraft, use of live bait, and the aquarium, water garden, live food fish, and horticulture industries.
These efforts have resulted in the following successes:
- Engagement of hundreds of community groups and like-minded agencies in invasive species outreach, monitoring, and stewardship activities annually;
- Participation in hundreds of provincial and regionally based events and workshops annually;
- Monitoring of hundreds of water bodies annually by volunteers engaged in Invading Species Watch;
- Early detection of new species invasions through citizen reports to the Invading Species Hotline and the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) within North America, the Great Lakes, and Ontario’s inland waters;
- Development of educational materials for invasive species prevention for targeted pathways;
- Distribution of hundreds of thousands of invasive species educational materials annually;
- Training of over 200 technical professionals in invasive species identification and reporting;
- Hiring of over 20 summer staff annually for the Invading Species Hit Squad to deliver on the ground, community-based invasive species education, awareness, and monitoring initiatives;
- Installation of invasive species awareness billboards across the province
How you can help the Invading Species Awareness Program
The Invading Species Awareness Program answers the Invading Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) to give the public an avenue to report sightings, seek information, and to request educational material on invasive species.
Contact us through the Invading Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) or visit our website for more information.