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The Invasive Species Myth

By Peter Andrew – ConservativeAmerican.org

There is no such thing as an invasive species or a non-native species.  This is a myth presented and perpetuated by people who either don’t stop to think about what they are saying, don’t define their terms properly, or simply loathe themselves.  Allow me to explain.

The website Science Daily defines an invasive species this way…

The first definition expresses the phrase in terms of non-indigenous species

(e.g. plants or animals) that adversely effect the habitats they invade

economically, environmentally or ecologically…

The second definition broadens the boundaries to include both native and non-native

species that heavily colonize a particular habitat.

The third definition is an expansion of the first and defines an invasive species as

a widespread non-indigenous species.”

All of these definitions are similar.  The first talks about non-native species that do “adverse” things to a new area where the species did not exist before.  The second one adds native (along with non-native) species to the definition and drops the need for negative impact, replacing it with a situation where the species heavily colonizes the area.  The third definition expands the first by again removing the need for “adverse” impacts and simply stating the non-native species is “widespread.”

For the sake of this article, any of these definitions will work.

In lay terms, most people take this “invasive species” phrase to mean that a non-native species has moved into the new area and is causing trouble and shouldn’t be there.

For example, many bird lovers in the USA spend time feeding the birds, building houses for them, photographing them, taking care of them, and keeping lists of the different species they see.  Many in this group say the common House Sparrow is an “invasive species.”  These normally bird-loving people suggest killing the House Sparrows by destroying the eggs, nests or by other less pleasant methods.  You can find information online for people who “love birds,”  explaining how to kill the undesirables.  This sounds a bit like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) selecting which species are cute and trying to protect them, while deciding that other species like the rat or the Asian Bighead carp are undesirable and it’s okay to kill them off.  Animal lovers won’t lift a finger to “Save the Asian Bigheads.”

Perhaps we should call PETA the People for the Ethical Treatment of Cute Animals, or PETCA.  And maybe the bird-lovers should be referred to as lovers-of-most-birds.  You have to admit it makes little sense to have groups supporting wildlife which decide that some species just don’t fit and it’s okay to wipe them out, while others (Spotted Owl) must be saved at all costs.  It is indeed hypocrisy.

Here’s the real problem though: People are part of nature.  To claim otherwise is foolish.  In many cases, the so-called “invasive” or “non-native” species have moved into the new area with the help of humans.  This is true with House Sparrows who hitched rides on massive sailing ships from Europe to the USA.  It’s why we have giant African snakes now living in the Everglades in Florida.  Those darn humans.  If it wasn’t for people screwing everything up, we could preserve the proper ecosystems.  Right?

To make such a claim that plants or animals should not be in these new areas, requires ignoring the facts about how the species got to the new area.  Regardless of if it was the wind, a human, a ship, an animal, a storm, or what have you, NATURE brought the species to the new area.  Man is part of NATURE, and therefore NATURAL.  So, if a species moves from area A to area B and can survive in the new area, this is caused only by NATURE and is NATURAL and okay and part of the ever-changing ecosystem we call earth.

When mankind goes to war and blows up people and things, a species could become extinct.  This is just as natural as an animal chasing down and killing its prey, even if the prey it catches is the last of a certain species.  We may not like to think of humans as part of nature, but it is an undeniable truth.  We may think its horrible if war kills off the Spotted Owl completely, but it would, in fact, be a natural thing.

Therefore, there is no such thing as an invasive species.  There instead is only a species that one way or another used nature to get from area A to new area B.  While in the new area, if the species causes economic, environmental or ecological damage, that is survival of the fittest.  Humans are very intelligent and some won’t care about these impacts, while others will care deeply.  Humans can, as part of nature, take steps to keep the species out of area B.

We sometimes are arrogant enough to think of ourselves as simply observers of the ecosystem or guests inside of it or even, perhaps, Gods ruling over it.  We see what we think is a terrible thing happening when the Asian Bighead carp invades Lake Michigan because we fear it wil upset the ecosystem.  There is no thought given to the truth that the species got to the new location naturally.  We view ourselves as Gods who must decide for the earth (which is apparently not capable of deciding for itself) which species should come and which should go.

Still, if we step in and keep a species out, this also is not interfering (how can nature interfere with itself?!) with evolution or the survival of the fittest because we are part of that ecosystem, part of nature, natural beings here with a bunch of other natural living things all trying to survive.

There also is no such thing as a non-native species.  If it is here on earth, it is native to earth.  If it came from some other planet or galaxy, it came here using nature and is simply a change in what we have defined previously as our ecosystem.

Some people believe that species brought here by evil and careless human beings must be killed or removed. I suggest these people must ask themselves how this new species got to this new area.  The only answer is it got to the new area naturally.

Think of it this way: the white man, using the traditional definitions above, is an invasive species the USA. If people believe that invasive species must be killed or removed, they have no choice but to kill themselves!

I doubt they would believe that.  It goes back to the arrogant belief that we are somehow above the ecosystem, no longer part of nature, but more of Gods which must make decisions on behalf of nature which has been incapable of making its own choices since our brains got big enough to make choices for it!

It’s lunacy.

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