The Right To Life?

I’m not talking abortion here, sorry! I’m sure I’ll hit that topic in a while, though I suppose it is, in a way, connected. As I am now in Sarasota, Florida, I find myself presented with the idea of invasive species and pests. We have them in New York, of course, but it is always more noticeable when you enter into a different culture. I pose the following question: Do those species which compete – and win – and are not native to an area have a right to flourish in that area?

Take the Muscovy Duck – its adorable! I encountered them this morning. But, according to Wikipedia, they’re considered pests by Florida residents. Now these guys aren’t really harming anything – they just happen to shit a lot, and mate. Don’t we all?

So what do we – as biologists, in this case, and witches – do to control these problems? If its an invasive plant, do we have the right to kill it? Will I be able to stand before my gods and say I knowingly committed plant genocide? Duck-i-cide?

I think, in this case, yes. The plants and animals that flourish and choke out other species – they could use a limit. If our natural resources are depleted and the cycles are thrown out of balance by these species – that, too, is our responsibility as caretakers of the earth in which we live. I would rather stand before my gods and tell them I took out an entire pond’s worth of an invasive grass, than stand before them with no pond or life at all because the grass had taken over.

Balance, balance, balance.

Any comments?

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One response to “The Right To Life?

  1. Most cases of invasive species problems are probably a result of human activity, not of any sort of natural expansion of range. These invasive species tend to disrupt, even overwhelm, ecosystems, displacing native species.

    So we end up with a different ecosystem. One in which non-native species dominate.

    I think that it is in our best long term interests to sustain ecosystems that are as native as possible. So restricting invasive species or eradicating them makes sense.

    The catch, of course, is that typically we can’t accomplish this.
    Invasive species turn out to be here to stay.

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