Introduction of exotics

Humans have accidentally and intentionally introduced species into new areas. In a sense, agricultural production itself is a replacement of natural species by domesticated species, under human control. Other examples also abound. Domestic cats (Felis catus) brought by Europeans to Australia, out-competed—or out ate—many small, native marsupials. A small, Australian marsupial (Trichosurus vulpécula, the brush-tail possum) was introduced into New Zealand in 1837. The varmint prospered beyond all expectations, threatening New Zealand's fragile domestic wildlife.

Other familiar examples of unfortunate mammalian introductions include rabbits and foxes into Australia; goats and cats into the Galápagos and Hawaii; rats, goats, and cats into Cuba and Hispaniola (pity the poor Solenodon); mongoose into Jamaica; hogs into too many parts of the southeastern United States; and horses in North America.

0 0

Post a comment