from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It’s not easy to be an environmentalist. If you look into anything deeply enough, you’ll find complications that make it tough to paint in black and white without shades of gray. What disruptions of an ecosystem are good or bad? If you think that any disruption is bad, well, too late — people (and nature itself) have been mucking around with local ecosystems since life began. Biology is just a messy field. Invasive species are generally painted as harmful, but it’s not always the case.
- Goats on the Galapagos Islands were introduced in the 16th century, and the goat population grew to over 250,000 — eating just about anything they wanted, including endangered tortoises. The goats were killed off completely using Judas goats to help hunters find the last few goats in hiding. Radiolab has a fascinating podcast on the story of shooting every single goat (except for the Judas goats). [url]
- Not all invasive species are destructive, and people have been moving around plants and animals for centuries. Arguably, preventing invasive species is a futile task because ecosystems are meant to change and adapt — and species are going to go extinct. Globalization isn’t a recent phenomenon for biology. [url]
- If you’ve ever had a pet goldfish, maybe you’ve thought about setting it free in a local pond or lake — but you really shouldn’t do that. Canada is warning its citizens about enormous (former pet) goldfish that are crowding out native fish species and threatening the ecosystem, but hardy goldfish are also invading US fresh water, too. [url]
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