Heightened concerns in recent years over the alarming spread of the invasive purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), an introduced species from Eurasia, prompted the convening of a workshop in Ottawa in March, 1992 hosted by the Secretariat to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada). This workshop brought together specialists and resource managers from government, non-government and private sector agencies, such as the nursery trade and honey producers, across Canada. The meeting was held to solicit information, advice and assistance and seek consensus on practical solutions and national actions required for curbing the spread of this species.
To address the broader concerns of invasive alien plants of wetlands and other wildlife habitats, the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada contracted the Canadian Museum of Nature to summarize existing information on this subject in Canada. This included both a review of invasive plants of upland and wetland habitats and an evaluation of federal and provincial legislation dealing with noxious weeds and their potential use in controlling the spread of plants invasive in natural habitats. This report combines the results of these contracts. Part I of this report includes a review of invasive alien plants of wetland and upland habitats, and Part II examines legislation in Canada and its application to invasive plants of natural habitats.
Work continues on solutions for the control of purple loosestrife and other invasive plants. Legislative changes are also evolving in response to new information and growing public support for remedial actions. In time, certain information in this report will require updating to reflect these changes. The Canadian Wildlife Service will be monitoring these changes with the assistance of the Canadian Museum of Nature and federal and provincial agencies to ascertain if and when a revised report is warranted.