Wildlife and nature are a part of our life here in Aurora. We are committed to living in harmony with all living things and seek to promote a healthy and environment for all. 

Wildlife in Aurora

Wildlife such as Coyotes, Raccoons, Skunks and Foxes are common in Aurora and York Region. These animals can be found in forests, trails and neighbourhoods. 

You can help prevent wildlife from coming on to your property by limiting the food source. Removing sources of food by protecting pets and livestock, fencing gardens, and securing garbage and compost, will help encourage coyotes to go elsewhere. Most importantly, never feed coyotes or other wildlife.

Animal Services will address wildlife complaints within the town provided that the injured wildlife is located on town-owned property. If you require any wildlife removed from your home, please contact and hire a local wildlife removal expert.

For more information and tips for peaceful coexistence with wild animals in our area, please visit our Wildlife in Aurora page.

What is an invasive species??

An invasive species is a plant, insect or animal that causes damage to the environment, economy or human health in a new region where it is not native. They out-compete native plants for space, food or other resources. Invasive plant species can be difficult to control due to their natural aggressiveness, high rate of reproduction and lack of natural predators in the environment.

What can you do to stop invasive species?

  • Learn to identify these species
  • Use designated trails and keep pets on a leash to avoid accidentally spreading of these invaders
  • Learn to effectively and environmentally manage these invasive species on your private property
  • Buy native species to plant in gardens and landscaping
  • Clean all equipment thoroughly to remove seeds, leaves and mud
  • Encourage people to report any illegal importing, distribution or sale of Dog-strangling vine and Japanese Knotweed

For more information on how to deal with invasive species please visit Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program Website.

Below are the invasive species, threatening the Town of Aurora, are regulated under the Ontario Invasive Species Act, 2015.

European Common Reed (Phragmites australis subsp. Australis)

 

European Common Reed

Right photo: Pond on Leslie Street is being encircled by invasive phragmites.

Invasive Phragmites is an invasive plant causing damage to Ontario's biodiversity, wetlands and beaches. It is a perennial grass that has been damaging ecosystems in Ontario for decades. It is not clear how it was transported to North America from its native home in Eurasia.

Origin: The plant is from Eurasia and was introduced to North America in the late 1800s.

Impacts: Phragmites tend to become the dominant species in a variety of habitats, because of its dense growth both above and below ground and its ability to release toxins from its roots into the soil to stop the growth of and kill surrounding plants.

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Japanese Knotweed

Left photo: A large outbreak of Japanese knotweed at Bloomington and Bathurst.

Japanese knotweed is an aggressive semi-woody perennial plant that is native to eastern Asia. It has broad leaves and a vigorous root system. This invader is very persistent and once it becomes established, is incredibly difficult to control.

Impacts: Commonly invades disturbed areas with high light, such as roadsides and stream banks. Reproduction occurs both vegetative (rhizomes) and seeds, making this plant extremely hard to eradicate

Dog-Strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum)

Dog-Strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum)

Right Photo:Climbing up a fence on Industrial Parkway South, these well-seeded vines are just a small part of a substantial outbreak North of the Sheppard's Bush soccer fields

The name “Dog-strangling Vine” refers to two invasive plants native to Eurasia– black swallowwort and pale swallowwort. This invasive perennial prefers open sunny areas, but can grow well in light shade. It grows aggressively up to two metres high by wrapping itself around trees and other plants, or trailing along the ground. Dense patches of the vine can “strangle” plants and small trees.

Impacts: Forms dense stands that overwhelm and crowd out native plants and young trees, preventing forest regeneration. This is a serious concern for the conifer plantations in the York Regional Forest. Leaves and roots may be toxic to livestock. Deer avoid dog strangling vine, which can increase grazing pressure on more palatable native plants. Threats to monarch butterfly populations; butterflies lay their eggs on the plant but, the larvae are unable to successfully complete their life cycle.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer, is an invasive insect that kills all types of healthy ash trees. It is a major threat to the health of our Regions forests.

The insect was discovered in York Region in 2008 and the City of Toronto a year earlier. While the Emerald Ash Borer poses no risk to human health, it is a significant threat to our forests.

 The Town has contracted with Trugreen to provide treatment services to combat the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive insect that kills healthy ash trees.

The contract will provide for the preventative application of TreeAzin, a pesticide approved in Canada that has shown to protect ash trees from the EAB. Approximately 2,000 publicly-owned trees along boulevards and rights-of-way have been identified in the Town's street tree inventory as potential candidates for treatment. Trees meeting the treatment criteria will be marked by Town staff with a small but highly-visible painted dot.

York Region is working co-operatively with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Ministry of Natural Resources, conservation authorities and local municipalities to monitor the spread of this invasive insect and determine the best course of action to help manage its impact.

Visit york.ca and click on Emerald Ash Borer to learn more or, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or call 1-866-463-6017.

 

European Fire Ants 

Photo of red fire ants gathering on sandThe European fire ant (Myrmica rubra Linnaeus), is an invasive, non-native species that is a nuisance pest for people and potential threat to native species. Over the past 10 years, they have been found in residential and natural areas in the Greater Toronto Area. They nest in damp soils around tree roots and under rocks, logs and rotting debris. These ants sting humans, pets and wildlife to defend their nest.

Controlling fire ant colonies on public property

There are no known effective, long-term control methods available for parkland. Known treatments will kill beneficial insects too, which can negatively affect wildlife and the natural food chain.

When travelling through Aurora parklands, you're advised to:

  • Stay on designated pathways and trails
  • Always wear covered footwear and long pants to protect yourself from ant stings and other hazards - different insect bites or poison ivy
  • Keep dogs leashed and on the designated trail

Controlling fire ant colonies on private property

Keep your property clean to avoid a potential European fire ant habitat:

  • Disposing of yard waste properly. Do not dump yard waste into natural areas
  • Keep the area immediately adjacent to your property clear of accumulated branches or decaying vegetation
  • Mowing tall grass and trimming hedge
  • Avoid transporting materials (soil, mulch, plants, and decaying logs) unless you are certain that it is free of fire ants

Treatment of fire ant colonies

Try using boric acid bait traps, diatomaceous earth, or pyrethrin (these products can be purchased from local nurseries and hardware stores and should be applied according to product instructions). Or contact a pest control company.

If you discover an infestation of European fire ants on your property, treat the colonies quickly to reduce their opportunity to expand into neighbouring areas.

Public lands

There are no known effective, long-term control methods available for parkland. Known treatments will kill beneficial insects too, which can negatively affect wildlife and the natural food chain.

When travelling through Aurora parklands, remember to:

  • stay on the designated pathways and trails
  • always wear covered footwear and long pants to protect yourself from ant stings, etc
  • keep dogs leashed and of the designated trail

Private property

Keep your property clean to avoid a potential European fire ant habitat.

  • Disposing of yard waste properly. Do not dump yard waste into natural areas.
  • Disposing of yard waste properly. Do not dump waste into natural areas
  • Keep the area immediately adjacent to your property clear of accumulated branches or decaying vegetation.
  • Mowing tall grass and trimming hedge
  • Avoid transporting materials (soil, mulch, plants and decaying logs) unless you are certain its free of fire ants

If you see an infestation of European fire ants on your property, treat it quickly to reduce the chances of expanding into close areas.

Try using these products that can be purchased from local nurseries and hardware stores or contact a pest control company:

  • boric acid bait traps
  • diatomaceous earth
  • pyrethrin

Noxious weeds

The following noxious weeds are found in Aurora and cause harm to humans:

Poison Ivy

Phot of 3 leaf green poison IvyA harmful weed that produces clusters of three leaves, it can be found along trails and wooded areas. When the sap from this plant comes in contact with the skin, it produces blisters and irritation.

Wild Parsnip

Photo of yellow flowered yellow parsnipWild Parsnip is often found in ditches, trails, and residential properties. When the sap from this plant comes in contact with human skin then is exposed to sunlight it causes severe burns and blisters.

Giant Hogweed

Photo of tall, large white flowered hogweedGiant Hogweed is found alongside roads, streams and in open spaces. The sap from this plant can cause severe blisters, burns, and scars. The effects of this plant are further intensified when exposed to sunlight. Eye contact may cause loss of vision.

For more information on how to deal with invasive species please visit Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program Website.