Canada has three native swan species, but the mute swan isn’t one of them. The swans were brought from Europe to North America in the 1870s, mostly for the purposes of lawn decoration. Of course they escaped. And wreaked havoc.
House sparrows—they’re originally native to the Middle East—were introduced to North America in 1852, when 50 pairs were released in New York City. No surprise: as their name suggests, you can find them hanging around human structures.
Whaaa? Correct. Most or our native earthworms disappeared thanks to glacier activity long ago. The wriggly creatures we see in Canada now are largely from Europe. Ontario has no native earthworms at all.
House mice, unlike deer mice, are actually native to central Asia. They came to North America—not on purpose—with European settlers. Like deer mice, they can be cottage pests. How to tell the difference between a native mouse and a house mouse? Deer mice have white underparts, that is, white bellies and white underside of their tails.
Okay, fine. The word “European” should be a dead giveaway. But these birds are so common and widespread that Canadian books on how to feed birds include them. They can be tricky to ID correctly because they look very similar to our native common grackles.
Canada’s largest frog species is invasive in B.C., where it was introduced as a food item and farmed for its meaty legs. Since one female can lay up to 20,000 eggs per year, the frogs spread, eating native frog species and thriving even in habitats heavily populated by humans.
Yes, moose are native to Canada. Obviously. Why else would they be depicted on so many gift shop T-shirts? But they are not native to Newfoundland. Four animals were transported to the island (from New Brunswick) in 1904, as part of a government initiative to “develop the island’s interior.” Develop it into…an island full of moose? Okay, sure.