Herding Cats

Image of Cat
Empress Mow Mow

At times during the debate around invasive species, it’s the absurd that strikes the strongest chord. Prevention is a reasonable approach. Eradication after full-scale establishment seems like folly. Evolutionarily, it’s a whole system problem. Take the example invasive Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) that originated in Mato Grosso, Brazil. If you’ve ever been bitten, you know they sting. They first appeared in the United States at Mobile, Alabama around 1940. How they were introduced is unknown.

Real, potential solutions the control of their populations appear to be phorid flies that lay their eggs inside the ant’s head and fungi that are natural predators/parasites of the ant in their original ecosystem. Go back to source, investigate complex ecologies for solutions. But think through the impact on the new system you are invading.

Most recently humans have been a major cause of jump dispersal, another name for invasive species. But hasn’t much of evolutionary spread of living organisms been the product of “invasive/exotic” species from the very beginning?

Image of Dog
Trip Gibson

So, if we bring on the cats, then don’t we need more dogs?

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