Alien Species

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JamesAnthony
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Alien Species

Postby JamesAnthony » 13 Feb 2013, 20:20

Hello folks! First of all I'm sorry if this is a repeated topic but I could not find anything similar to this on the forum. I was reading a post about the badger cull and it got me thinking. In the south east of England there is an estimated 30,000 parakeets living wild see a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4P_NhFlb5w
These animals are in danger of being culled themselves it mentions it at the end of the video what is your opinion on the management of alien species in your nation? Should we accept these creatures or work to maintain our wildlife?
Its more than just Parakeets. Skunks, Wallaby's, Pheasants and even the rumoured big cat are all living in Britain. So should we accept these creatures or cull them should we need to? Certain animals particularly the Boar and Parakeet are very damaging to the environment boars churn up fields more than the Glastonbury festival and parakeets can be extremely destructive in their own right. This is of course a global issue with Australia with its rabbit problem and parts of the US with pet snakes being a huge issue and I'm sure there are many more examples.

So what's your opinion on this controversial issue?
- James

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Re: Alien Species

Postby Aphritha » 14 Feb 2013, 04:52

That's a tough one. I couldn't say I'd be okay with taking out a species in a specific area because it wasn't native...who's humanity to say what goes where? And should it end up in a place designated not for it, who are we to take its life away simply for the purpose of it not being there? If its destructive, maybe trying to limit reproduction if at all possible. Though I suppose all things in the world change...sometimes not the way we want.


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Re: Alien Species

Postby ShadowCat » 14 Feb 2013, 08:06

Humanity itself isn't a native species in parts of the world... And the world could do with a humanity cull IMHO :whistle:

Part of the problem with the deer and boars in the UK would be mitigated if the wolves where imported back in. The lacking of predators is most often the problems. And predator and prey balance themselves out. With the parakeets, don't the big birds hunt them?
If we as humanity messed some natural equilibrium up, either by importing a species or by disrupting the chain of predation by taking out predators, we have a duty to make it right. But righting it can be done in many ways, from merely monitoring the way in which nature in the end will right itself, to assuming the rol of the lost predator (hunting) to repairing the actual damage by importing back the predators. Most often, the latter is considered the best, but it must also be done wisely, otherwise it will create new problems.
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Re: Alien Species

Postby Corwen » 14 Feb 2013, 17:00

Depends on the impact of the species. Some fill an empty niche and don't cause any problems, maybe the parakeets are in this case. Others, like Japanese Knotweed are vigorous and out compete natives.
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Re: Alien Species

Postby samurai » 19 Feb 2013, 19:03

Mink,are an allien to these shores and do alot of damage,especially to the water vole population.

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Re: Alien Species

Postby Journey » 19 Feb 2013, 22:26

Maybe I am naive but can't the "non-native" animals be moved to somewhere where they would be able to live naturally... maybe to an area where they belong, a place where their species of native?
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Re: Alien Species

Postby samurai » 20 Feb 2013, 07:19

In the case of mink that would be the USA,but the amount of them here in the UK is very high and they would take some catching in numbers as they travel our extensive waterways.

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Re: Alien Species

Postby Corwen » 20 Feb 2013, 20:48

Maybe I am naive but can't the "non-native" animals be moved to somewhere where they would be able to live naturally... maybe to an area where they belong, a place where their species of native?
Impossible to catch them. In most cases impossible to exterminate them too, though extermination through shooting, trapping or poisoning is easier than catching animals alive.

Like the Mink in the UK which do huge damage to wildlife but they are wily and shy and thus hard to catch or kill. Some idiots who consider themselves campaigners for animal rights let hundreds of mink out of a fur farm near here and so we have lots of wild mink about and therefore fewer rare waterbirds. Lots of one legged ducks, geese and swans too, the mink like to swim under the water and grab a bird by the leg to drown it, sometimes the birds get away leaving a leg behind. They would have been better to have humanely killed all the mink in the fur farm or sprayed their coats with dye to spoil the 'crop', releasing them has damaged the whole ecosystem and will do so indefinitely as the mink cannot be removed and will continue to breed.
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Re: Alien Species

Postby Journey » 20 Feb 2013, 21:35

Seems like there should be a way without killing them. i know sometimes it has to be done but it makes me sad.
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Re: Alien Species

Postby Corwen » 20 Feb 2013, 22:52

Seems like there should be a way without killing them. i know sometimes it has to be done but it makes me sad.
If you can think of it a lot of nature reserve wardens will be very happy.
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Re: Alien Species

Postby DaRC » 21 Feb 2013, 12:49

Like the Mink in the UK which do huge damage to wildlife but they are wily and shy and thus hard to catch or kill.
Information from the Wildlife trusts suggest that as Otters move back into an area they may kill the Mink - but they can also cohabit. Unfortunately Mink must be killed, it's a legal requirement.
More info on removing Mink here:
http://www.sussexotters.org/pdf/Mink%20 ... vation.pdf
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Re: Alien Species

Postby samurai » 21 Feb 2013, 15:16

Mink are serious killers of anything they can over power,they climb,swim and dig. If live caught they must be humanely dispatched (by law-i think its 1954 pest act).The damage they cause is not a pretty sight. They got into some rarebreed chicken runs near where I live and slaughtered nearly 70 birds. They seem to have more energy than a fox once they get going. Lucky really that they are not bigger than they are.

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Re: Alien Species

Postby adiantum » 26 Mar 2015, 21:38

As a permaculture teacher and designer I run into this issue quite frequently, and sometimes it gets ugly. I'm actually surprised, and pleased, that the conversation here has stayed civil! Kudos to Druids for that! I will have to go check out the vegan/animal rights threads, if there are any, and see how people are behaving there!
It's a complicated issue and answers will be complicated too. How far back do you go to determine whether a particular species is "native" or "exotic"? How long does it have to be present somewhere to be considered native? To put it in perspective, in the timeframe represented by only a few generations of the longest-lived trees ago, large portions of northern Europe and North America were under a mile or more deep of ice, and so everything north of that borderline could be considered exotic. In some cases a species gets reintroduced into an area from which it had previously been extirpated.....isn't this the case with the boar and the beaver in parts of Europe?
It does seem that our energies might be better spent than attacking, with a view toward complete eradication, a plant or animal that is well-established and numerous. (An exception might be made for the case of a new invasion, limited in numbers or in area) At least in the case of plants, it really seems to be an exercise in futility. But one way to proceed that will often lead to control is to find a USE for that animal or plant, preferably a marketable use. Then, as they say in permaculture, "the problem is the solution". The general depopulation of the rural countryside in much of the affluent world, and the dearth of people, and their associated livestock, living a subsistence lifestyle; means that a lot of invasives and their potential uses go unnoticed and untapped. Bangladesh (where I lived for three years) has many problems, but invasive species are not one of them (except, of course, people). Even water-hyacinth finds multiple uses.
Another tidbit of note is that the campaigns against exotic plants are, at least in the USA, often supported and funded by herbicide manufacturers, since they provide a ready niche market for even more chemical poisons!
On the larger scale, it's part of nature's response to human abuse to bring in the shock troops from wherever on the planet they may be found. It is frequently observed, at least among plants, that many exotics don't readily invade an intact block of native vegetation.....it's disturbed sites that they like, where they participate in the early stages of succession and, as often as not, are replaced by natives as the ecosystem matures. But with the domination of the entire planet by human agendas of one form or other, the end result is likely to be a bunch of humans living on a planet of crops, weeds large or small, domestic animals, and pest animals large and small. The ultimate way out, as someone already has suggested, is for there to be fewer of us, demanding less of the planet, and give Nature a chance to rebalance herself rather than counterbalancing us.
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