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The fallacy of invasiveness

2013-04-08T10:28:00Z The fallacy of invasiveness Glens Falls Post-Star
April 08, 2013 10:28 am

A fascinating post by longtime Adirondack writer and editor Mary Thill discusses new findings on yellow perch by a regional scientist. The scientist found the perch, long treated as an invasive species, may be native to the Adirondacks:

http://www.adirondacklifemag.com/blogs/2013/04/02/are-yellow-perch-adirondack-native-to-the-adirondacks-after-all/

I think it's time we admit it doesn't matter whether a species is native. What matters is whether we like the species, based on things such as whether it inhibits recreation (Asian clams, Eurasian milfoil); outcompetes sport species (yellow perch, which drive out brook trout); or destroys other species we want to preserve (emerald ash borer, which kills ash trees; and Asian longhorned beetle, which kills sugar maples and other hardwoods).

Calling a species non-native is our excuse for trying to eliminate or at least prevent the spread of a species we consider destructive.

But moving around, whether it's done by swimming from one island to another, or by hitching a ride on a container ship, is a natural process. Species spread. Just look at humans (talk about invasive!).

We don't need an excuse beyond our own subjective determination of a species' destructiveness to decide to kill some and protect others.

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(1) Comments

  1. brian
    Report Abuse
    brian - April 12, 2013 12:28 pm
    Sounds like another "winning hearts and minds" campaign.

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