They are such graceful birds :( Hope they will be saved.
I hate this kind of BS. It reminds me of the controversy over the point reye's deer a couple of years ago. Despite widespread public opposition(even Jane Goodall wrote in against it)the national parks service insisted on exterminating all the non-native deer. In the end it all boils down to a nativist ideology...one that plagues the conservation movement just about everywhere you go. I'm sure I'm going to get flak for saying this, but at this point I don't really care.
Thanks for the heads up on the Point Reye's deer - I just read up on them. I notice they have now switched to a non-lethal method of population control too :-http://www.nps.gov/pore/naturescience/nonnativespecies_deer.htmIt leads one to wonder why this wasn't done earlier. Too much 'trouble'? Often it seems people couch the argument in terms of how some animals HAVE to die - and I think it's often a false dilema.
What is this 'nativist ideology' that plagues the conservation movement? When humans unleash species not native to an area that cause native species to die out and/or affect the ecosystem such that native populations (whether direct competitors or not) decline, it seems to me a justified call for intervention. It's not a matter of letting nature take its course.
budak - I think what I mentioned is that it's often a false dilema. I don't see a problem with 'intervention' - I DO have a problem with killing. As I mentioned in my other reply to your blog post, how do we even define 'native species'? Surely we humans, aren't a native species. Do we then propose eradicating people? After all, we are the ones destroying habitat, invading the natural environment, yes, and introducing the 'invasive' species. Yes, we may designate areas as being protected but by our very presence, we are already changing the landscape in massive ways. We are causing the brunt of the destruction. If we really want to remove invasive species, then logically speaking, shouldn't we start with ourselves first?
i can see your point, Dawn. But using the 'humans are invasive too' point can also become an excuse for not doing anything at all about habitats or ecosystems affected by species introduced by man.
What is this ideology? You've already summed it up in your following paragraph. Why is it such a terrible thing if the ecosystem changes? Who benefits from preserving a status quo?
By the way, I can also go the opposite direction and say that focusing blame on "invasive" species has been used as a tactic to divert attention from human activities that are deleterious to the environment.
budak, I think one of the issues also is that some conservationists are also similarly (and understandably, they are human too) carried away by their feelings. Does it really help to kill the invasive species? Aren't there better ways of doing things?If there are humane methods of population control, we should look into that, instead of thinking that the lethal method is the only way to go. Some of it does seem to smack of laziness - ie kill the animals - rather than find another solution.
I mentioned to a friend, who is a scientist, once that there were no oral contraceptives for cats. He was so suprised that he immediately google-d it. One of the issues I think is that we're not putting money into the 'right' solutions as well.
Dawn,I'd agree, cautiously, that non-lethal means, exist for a fair number of cases. Unfortunately, it's probably the sad case that many people working in parks management or conservation have only limited funds or other means to resolve the issue of a non-native species. I suspect non-lethal means involve much more time and money, which those higher-up are not highly inclined to grant. Thus, the resort to culling. The anonymous who talks about an imaginary status quo clearly knows little about ecology and the value of biodiversity (not monetary value but its role in supporting all the species of plants and animals in a habitat). We can both agree that man is ultimately a bane to both domestic and wild animals, and I can certainly respect that one feels very strongly about not killing. But failing to grasp the issue and dismissing it as diversionary tactics etc is simply a form of denial.
Budak - I agree that many parks officials are taxed and have limited funds. However it does puzzle me why they will not then try additional methods when welfare groups that offer alternatives come in?For example, the HSUS has offered to help out in this case to come up with a comprehensive non-lethal solution but has been rebuffed.Another issue is that on occasion, animals literally become a scapegoat for other issues. This was an interesting read :-http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_wildlife/faq_md_swan.htmlApparently the DNR has said that the mute swans' effect is negligible. After all, there are only 500 swans - so why the need to eradicate them all?
Yes, because clearly someone who sees things from an entirely different perspective from your own is an ignoramus to be dismissed. Thanks for the very informative non-reply. I see that further discussion will be pointless because we are not even on the same wavelength.
Anonymous - I don't think Budak would be for lethal control either. I find it hard to imagine that someone who genuinely did like animals and the environment would not find it abhorent to make a decision to kill, especially when there are alternatives.
I know Dawn. I'm just really in a bad mood right now and probably made some pretty stupid comments. I am probably one of the biggest tree huggers that I know of... however some of the things I've read have given me an awfully negative impression of the conservation movement.Like I just saw this article about a town in Australia that has a special day dedicated to eradicating cane toads. They have an official celebration and party while the toads are killed in front of everyone. I'm not going to comment on the cane toad situation since I dont know enough about it...but seriously what is so great about killing that they need to have a song and dance about it? It's just terrible, this attitude.
I am pretty sure that both you and Budak actually have much more in common than you might think. It strikes me that both of you (1) like animals and (2) care for the environment.I think however that what both of you object to are excesses on both sides. I do believe however that as in most cases, there is a moderate, logical manner of dealing with this.I don't think that most conservationists believe in killing animals to save a native species.On the other hand, I don't believe that most people who love any kind of animal would not care for ANY species in danger of extinction. There are some people though whom I believe practice selective discrimination - for example, one bird is better than another because it's rare. These are the people who will chase down an unusual bird to tick it off their list of birds they want to see in their life, but don't really care about the really beautiful birds in their own backyard. To me, they are like the people who say they love cats but ONLY like rare, pedigree cats. It makes me wonder if it is about the novelty/rarity factor and not about the animal at all.
Duh, if you ask me there's no greater intrinsic value in a rare species versus a common one. (yeah, except for that 1 in a million possible cure for cancer. sure, okay.) Some of the most fascinating things in the world are right under our noses. Some of the seemingly dumbest questions are the hardest to answer.I acknowledge that there are many things in this world for which there are no easy answers. It's those who view things in black and white that bother me. In particular, the mentality of native=good, non-native=bad is one that doesn't sit right with me. It reminds me too much of the orwellian "two legs good, four legs bad" and a bunch of other distasteful rhetoric. And often it makes me question the very motives and fundamental precepts of those who expouse this notion. Certainly it would be better if the introduction of many exotic species had never taken place. Certainly it would be better if mankind had never colonized so many parts of the world. But realistically speaking, there is no turning this tide. And instead of fighting change I see this as evolution in action. Some will argue that this is happening too fast, and on too great a scale, but mass extinctions have occured regularly in the past and will continue to occur in the future.But that is beside the point. I have faith in the resilience of nature. If the earth's biodiversity could bounce back from the ashes of the great permian extinction it can survive us. As long as we don't launch a nuclear war anytime in the future anyway.
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