Albertans urged to wrangle their worms this summer: UAlberta research team

A University of Alberta research team has some simple advice for Albertans bound for the lake, campground or remote areas

SUBMITTED

A University of Alberta research team has some simple advice for Albertans bound for the lake, campground or remote areas this summer: wrangle your worms.

Researchers from the U of A’s faculties of science and education have teamed up to create the Alberta Worm Invasion Tracker, an online resource and mobile app that allows the public to record worm locations as they’re discovered.

The citizen science project is part of a larger collaboration to learn about the impact that earthworms — an invasive species in Alberta — have on the environment and their distribution patterns across the province.

“In agriculture and gardens, worms are obviously quite useful because they mix up the soil and increase aeration, but in forests in most of Canada and the northern United States, they’re an invasive species,” said biologist Erin Cameron, a U of A alumna who started studying earthworm populations as a graduate student under the supervision of Erin Bayne.

“When they consume the forest leaf litter layer and mix it with the lower mineral soil, that can have negative effects on native species that rely on a thick forest floor.”

The earthworms’ northern migration is largely the result of human interference and activities such as fishing, boating and camping. Earthworms that don’t end up on a fishing hook often end up discarded in the wilderness or in the water. Worms and worm cocoons also hitchhike their way into the wild, sticking to tire treads or wheel wells before ending up in the forest.

Outdoor adventurers are encouraged to wrangle their worms and log worm encounters — the first in what the U of A team hopes are many successful partnerships that build a bridge between scientists, educators, students and the general public.

“This issue of invasive species gets at so many ecological concepts, this provides really good context for teachers to be engaged in the project and address some of those concepts in their curriculum,” says Jerine Pegg, an assistant professor of elementary education with a strong interest in scientist-teacher partnerships.

 

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Pirates hockey team add tally to win column

The Pirates won versus the Westlock Warriors on Dec. 9

Another successful year for the Sylvan Lake Charity Check stop

The annual charity drive took place on Dec. 8 on 47 Avenue between Shoppers and McDonald’s.

Spray Park Committee hosting kid friendly New Year’s Eve party

The Sylvan Lake Spray Park Committee is hosting the Kids Countdown Party fundraiser on Dec. 31

Sylvan Lake Grade 6 students learn about municipal government first-hand

Grade 6 students are learning about municipal government and attended Monday’s Council meeting

PHOTOS: A unique set up for Sylvan Lake’s most recent Christmas market

The first annual Stocking Stuffer Market was held on Dec. 8 in the NexSource Centre

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Trump’s willingness to intervene in Meng detention roils Canada’s justification

The International Crisis Group said Tuesday, Dec. 11 it’s aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

Most Read