At what point does a species become a native species? That’s a question that’s been floating around in my mind with increasing frequency today – but does it have a definitive answer? And if not, does that really matter? The Brown Hare, for example, was introduced to Britain 2000 years ago, but many people think of them as indigenous wildlife and an iconic component of the British countryside. Fallow Deer were also brought over by the Romans around this time, yet endear themselves to many in the country. But then you have the Grey Squirrel: brought across the pond from the Eastern United States during the 1870s and demonised, justifiably, by most as an invasive species requiring eradication at a cost of many millions of pounds.
Continue reading Native State
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?
Today’s musing comes from having watched a commendably substantial news feature about the notion of rewilding on Britain’s Channel 4 news yesterday evening. One argument voiced during the discussion against the ecological restoration ethos was: why are we talking about reintroducing species that have become extinct when so many of our current species are endangered? Won’t this be detrimental to our existing flora and fauna? Should we not concentrate on conserving these creatures instead? This is a point of view I’ve been hearing more and more recently from those opposing the rewilding plans, and I think it completely misses the point; as the rewilding movement serves to address the very issues that have led to the neglect of our native wildlife. Continue reading Hollow Arguments From Rewilding Opponents