Dan Buffet (left) of Ducks Unlimited Canada, gives local residents a tour of the Serpentine marsh, showing them how invasive Parrot's Feather is filling in the waters. Helga and Werner Hoing (below) stand in front of one of the new highway signs they donated to mark the renewed Wildlife Management Area.

Dan Buffet (left) of Ducks Unlimited Canada, gives local residents a tour of the Serpentine marsh, showing them how invasive Parrot's Feather is filling in the waters. Helga and Werner Hoing (below) stand in front of one of the new highway signs they donated to mark the renewed Wildlife Management Area.

Feather’s touch at Serpentine lamented

Efforts to tackle parrot's feather are underway in South Surrey's Serpentine Wildlife Management Area.

Efforts to tackle an invasive aquarium plant that’s being dumped in the Serpentine Wildlife Management Area are working, but more needs to be done, officials say.

“Like many invasives, it grows and out-competes the other existing plants,” Dan Buffet, head of B.C. coastal conservation for Ducks Unlimited Canada, said Monday of parrot’s feather, a dense plant with feather-like foliage discovered in South Surrey’s Serpentine area.

“It prevents species from using the water.”

Noticed “a few years ago,” the plant’s significant expansion in the marsh in the last two years prompted a draining of the area over the summer – taking advantage of drought conditions – to see if the step could control or kill off the problem.

While it did temper the expansion, “the plant was still surviving,” Buffet said.

“It didn’t really knock it back as much as we had hoped.”

Werner and Helga HoingThe issue was shared Saturday with the public during an event to unveil new signage – donated by Peninsula residents Werner and Helga Hoing – for the WMA’s 30th anniversary, and mark the provincial launch of a campaign to conserve wetlands across North America.

Rescue Our Wetlands aims to raise $2 billion for the cause.

Buffet said the focus on parrot’s feather locally will continue through the winter, including discussing with specialists other options for its eradication.

“We’re going to have to look at something more dramatic,” he said, predicting further efforts would get underway next spring.

 

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