Invasive Plant and Animal Species

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What are invasive plants, insects and diseases?

The introduction of new species from one ecosystem into another is a process that has occurred countless times since life first arose on Earth. Some of these new species fit in where they can allowing the ecosystem to adapt over time. Other species can be much more aggressive and when they gain a foothold, they can overwhelm the existing ecosystem and force native species to adapt, move or risk extinction.

This process continues to this day but in recent decades it has been greatly accelerated by the actions of people who introduce new plants, animals, insects and diseases into the Island's ecosystems.

Common invasive plant and insect species found on PEI. 

Some of the Invasive Plant Species of Concern on PEI
Common Name Latin Name Special Notes
Japanese Knotweed  Fallopia japonica Very aggressive, forming dense thickets that shade out most native plant species
Bittersweet Nightshade Solanum dulcamara Vine-like plant found in many habitats.
Berries are poisonous to humans.
Wild Cucumber  Echinocystis lobata Prefers rich moist soils.
Vine-like spreading out like carpet over surrounding vegetation.
Garlic Mustard  Alliaria petiolata Localized but very aggressive.
Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum Localized near ditches, stream banks and disturbed soils.
Sap  is very irritating to human skin.
Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera Extremely aggressive.
Found in moist areas near streams and ditches.
Some of the Invasive Insect Species of Concern on PEI
Common Name Proper Name Special Notes
Japanese beetle Popillia japonica

Feeds on beans, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, cherries,  
raspberries, corn, peas, and blueberries,

Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar Feeds on a wide range of deciduous species.
Localized on PEI
Viburnum Leaf Beetle  Pyrrhalta viburni  Strips the leaves off viburnum species including Snowball Bush, Wild Raisin, Highbush Cranberry and Hobble Bush
Balsam Wooly Adelgid Adelges piceae Often kills healthy mature Balsam Fir and other fir species in eastern North America.
Brown Longhorn Spruce Beetle Tetropium fuscum Can cause significant mortality to Acadian Forest spruces
Not currently found on PEI but widespread in adjacent areas of Nova Scotia

Where can I get more information on invasive species?

The PEI Invasive Species Council web site has excellent information and resources designed to help Islanders' identify and deal with invasive species.

The Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division offers more information on invasive species through the Facebook page: Tree Insects and Diseases: PEI  


Date de publication : 
le 4 Janvier 2023
Environnement, Énergie et Action climatique

Renseignements généraux

Division des forêts, de la pêche et de la faune
Pépinière J. Frank Gaudet 
183, chemin Upton
C.P. 2000
Charlottetown (Î.-P.-É.)  C1A 7N8

Téléphone : 902-368-6450

Urgences concernant les animaux sauvages :

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