Friday, January 28, 2011

On invasive species



On AnnArbor.com a debate is raging. Saline residents are concerned for a local swan that may be injured. Initially, locals worried the swan was unable to eat, but they have successfully been feeding the bird organic lettuce. So here's the kicker the sawn in question is an invasive mute swan. Most swans in Michigan now are mute swans, they have driven down populations of the native trumpeter swan. Here's the kicker: the DNR classifies mute swans as invasive nuisance species, so it's illegal to rehabilitate these pests. People are outraged that the animal might die. It has a mate, it makes babies! Really folks? You are saying we need to give this invasive species medical care because it is a successful reproducer? People we need to be smarter than this. Just because an animal is cute doesn't mean it can't cause substantial disruption to native ecosystem processes.

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