New invasive species exhibit in the north
SAULT STE. MARIE – A new $25,000 invasive species exhibit was unveiled in the Bushplane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie.
More than half a dozen partners came together to make it work.
"There's a great connection to the science of airplanes in flight in particular to insects and various other factors. With the planes doing crop dusting and various other factors, invasive species are inhabiting those areas and causing some damages to our forests," explained Dan Ingram, Bushplane Museum.
The Rural Adri-Innovation Network was at the unveiling, showcasing how a multimillion-dollar industry in the Algoma region could be negatively affected by a single insect.
"Specifically… the longhorn beetle is a major threat. Just with the maple syrup industry. So right now, the maple syrup industry sells over 2 million litres of maple syrup and maple products, so the economic effects in Ontario would be quite substantial," said Jessica Cherry, Rural Agri-Innovation Network.
Lauren Bell of the Invasive Species Centre says, "it was recently detected in Edmonton in a wood packing material but it's not been established." She says the beetle hasn't been found in Ontario since 2013.
After seven years of no detection, the species is considered eradicated.
With how popular the Bushplane Museum is for event and class trips, the Invasive Species Centre thought this would be a great place to educate people. Staff members even installed interactive games for the youth.
"It's really key to us to kind of make people know about the threats and know how they can also incorporate management and identification in there everyday activities outside," commented Bell.
She says the plan is to add new material in the future.