Alien bugs to be let loose to eat weeds

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Overread, May 5, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    http://vladd.freeblogit.com/2008/05...ryside-to-kill-britains-most-persistent-weed/

    Ok lets set the scene - in the past someone decided to let a non=native plant loose on the UK countryside and it took hold and is now a major weed and ecological problem.
    Answer - they decided to let loose another alien species to eat the weed!

    Now correct me if I am wrong but didn't the Simpsons do this as sketch and it ended rather badly, and has it not been the case that any and all introductions of alien species end up going bad for the existing ecosystem? Look at our own red squirrel as an example - under enough threat from lose of habitat and now being pushed further into extinction by the grey squirrels.

    Add to that the fact that they have tested only 100 flora and fauna against this bug - an horrifically small sample for a full ecosystem. If this ever gets put into action I bet in a few years time they will be bringing over another species to eat this one (and mourning the lose of at least one our own)

    ps I think this is the right place for such a thread
     
  2. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    They introduced Mixamatosis to control the rabbit population. The rabbits developed immunity fairly quickly and people who ate infected rabbits died.

    The Southern US is plagued by fire ants - they came from Brazil in ballast. Now you cannot lie on the grass anywhere, safely. The US now has honey bees - a non native species - then they introduced the African honey bee that made the ordinary bees much more productive but lethally aggressive - so aggressive that they attack en-masse and kill people.

    If this new species is introduced it might be a good idea to take photos of existing species before they're wiped out. Rhododendron is another Japanese pest species. The grey squirrel is another pest - wiping out the native red squirrel. The New Zealand flatworm is yet another pest. Bracken is a non-native species also that's a pest.

    It does seem that every attempt to improve or alter the ecosystem has major and unpredicted side-effects.
     

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