Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Canary Ponzi Scheme
The New York Times filed this report about invasive species on the Canary Islands. Scientists are concerned that species like the introduced Barbary ground squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) and Corsica mouflon sheep (Ovis ammon musimon) are destroying species that have not even been discovered by humans yet. Oddly, there is only a passing mention of the introduced plants that now call the Canary Islands home, like America's prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.) and the South African ice plant (Mesembryanthemum sp.).
Local government officials think the solution to the invasive species problem is to wrest control of the islands away from mainland Spain and transfer it to...local government. Will Spain step up to the plate on this issue or will they risk letting this ecological goldmine be wiped out?
Xris over at the Flatbush Gardener sent an email about the story as I was crafting this post - kismet!
Invasive species are a pernicious problem that we could stamp out of we really wanted to. Or not. I live around a ton of Trees of Heaven. The stuff grows in alleys amid nothing but concrete, against buildings, up from the sewer... everywhere! I don't know how to eradicate it. Why should I even try? Isn't targeted plant killing another form of genocide? Who are we to say what can live and die in any place? I think if pants and animals do well in co-evolution with humans, there's not a whole lot we can do about it but slow down the inevitable. Snakes on Guam? Probably there to stay. I'll do what I can to slow down the invasiveness of some species, but others that are more beneficial than harmful I can live with. How do you feel about introduced species that come to act like invasive species because they thrive in their new place?
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