Monday, December 11, 2006

One Lump Or Two?

NPR has been playing some great invasive species-related coverage lately. This latest one comes from last Friday's All Things Considered, and tells the tale of the feral camels (Camelus dromedarius) that roam Australia. That's right: feral camels - 700,000 of them roaming the outback. What do you do when last century's transportation solution is this century's public nuisance? There's the usual hunting, and some eating of camel meat, but the best thing is definitely the camel races, where jockeys try in vain just to get their camels to run in the right direction. The audio here is really worth the listen. Interested folks might also want to check out this paper describing a study of the negative impacts of feral camels on the Australian desert.

Thanks to monopolist for thinking up the snazzy title :).


Kevin said...

The wild horses are an invasive species in the Mountain West.

Try eating one ... and you will get heaped with scorn :)

Wild horses trample a great deal of other native species.

Of course when you hold that the ecosystem just prior to the intrusion of Europeans was the ideal ecosystem, then you can count wild horses as a native species in the West. The horses were here when white people showed up en masse.

Chuck said...

That has to be one of the wishy-washiest papers I've ever read.

For example, claiming a threat of camel pox and rabies, neither of which exists in Australia, is ludicrous.

Sure camels are culled. But so are kangaroos. because they both are more suited to the desert than cows and sheep.

p.s. Camels taste awesome.

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Going to have to take your word for it, Chuck, as camel's not really on the menu here in the USA.