Recent calls from the RSPCA for the sale of Raccoon Dogs in the UK to be banned amid sporadic reports of some living wild in the country, has once again put invasive species back in the spotlight. This charismatic canid has gained a loyal following, primarily due to its endearing appearance, and can be bought online for as little as £150 – currently making it flavour of the month as an exotic pet. Whether it’s the sale online, or otherwise, of a popular exotic animal that soon becomes unwanted due to its acute unsuitability as a pet; or escapees from a wildlife park or zoo – the pattern of events is depressingly familiar and often ends in a cull instead of capture.
Continue reading Raccoon Dogs Living Wild In The UK?
At what point does an animal become native? That’s a question I’ve been pondering a lot recently, yet the answer remains elusive. Is it purely a matter of time, or is it determined more by social, scientific, cultural or political factors? The definition also has a considerable bearing on the issue of rewilding and what species are justifiably eligible for reintroduction. Continue reading Native Aliens
I’ve been reading more and more about the correlation between biodiversity and ecosystem health: the more species there are, the healthier the habitat. This might sound like a very obvious observation, however, it’s an often overlooked fact. Against the bleak backdrop of Britain’s depleted native wildlife, it got me thinking; has the conservation community’s reaction to invasive species been too alarmist? I think it has, and with good reason. Our habitats have been so degraded that the introduction of an ‘alien’ species, such as American Mink, was always going to cause havoc with our precariously poised ecology.
Continue reading Embrace The Invasive?