Did you know the American Bullfrog arrived in British Columbia to supply a frog leg industry that never took off? Or that approximately 200 million European Starlings in North America are here thanks to a Shakespeare fan?
Aliens Among Us is a travelling Royal BC Museum exhibition on British Columbia’s invasive species. The exhibition runs from May 19 to August 11 at the Kitimat Museum & Archives and invites visitors to interact with some of the province’s best-known and least-loved invasive species.
“There are over 4,000 alien species in the province and that number grows each year” says Gavin Hanke, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum. “Some of these aliens are invasive – they spread quickly, threaten native wildlife and are hard to control.”
American Bullfrogs, Scotch Broom, Smallmouth Bass and Purple Loosestrife are just a few of the species featured in Aliens Among Us. The exhibition tells the stories of how the invasive species arrived in the province, what individuals can do to protect their communities and how these aliens fit in – or don't fit in – with their environments.
A companion website and a mobile application have been created to accompany Aliens Among Us. Both allow visitors to track species using Google Maps. Visitors can upload the location of an alien sighting, images and field notes. The website also offers the opportunity to ask questions of one of the Royal BC Museum curators or collection managers. You can access the web and mobile app here: http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/TravellingExhibitions
Support for the Aliens Among Us exhibition has been provided by BC Hydro, Kitimat Modernization Project and the Royal BC Museum.