Who exactly has been invading whose territory? A slideshow in Huffington Post presents 10 of “the invasive species threatening North America.”
The article states correctly that:
Invasive species are a threat to the diversity and sustainability of local ecosystems. As awareness of invasive species increases, more and more organizations are extending a helping hand to put everything back in order.
But the one key invasive species is never mentioned. The Burmese python (pictured above) did not float here from Burma.
The giant African land snail didn’t swim here.
And the 200 million starlings flying the not-so-friendly skies of the U.S. didn’t make the trans-Atlantic flight by themselves. In 1890, when there were no starlings in North America at all, 60 birds were brought to New York City from Europe and released into Central Park as part of a plan to introduce every kind of bird mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.
Today, farmers and ranchers complain that the birds are fouling their cattle-feeding areas. And in 2008, U.S. government agents poisoned, shot and trapped 1.7 million starlings on the basis that they can pose a danger to air travel, disrupt cattle operations, chase off native birds and roost on city blocks.
When we say that starlings “pose a danger” to planes, we might stop for a moment to acknowledge that from the starlings’ point of view, it’s somewhat the other way round!
Indeed, from the p.o.v. of all these animals (and “invasive” plants, too), there’s just one really dangerous invasive species colonizing the planet and creating havoc in its wake.