Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Banging My Head Against The Wall

This Sphere post provides yet another example of animal rights proponents getting their science wrong and, in doing so, giving their legitimate concerns a bad name.

Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) are not native to Long Island and, though I have some reservations about our war on alien/introduced animal species, any respectable wildlife biologist will tell you that the birds represent a threat to Long Island's biodiversity. Apparently, Friends of Animals doesn't care about the other species that may be adversely affected.

But even if you excuse the wrong-headed scientific stance of the group, their leader's absurd claim of "victory" is a classic example of dumb-dumb under-achievement.

Just click on over to be baffled.


Carl Buell (OGeorge) said...

As a member of the MOST INVASIVE SPECIES on earth, I just try to understand that in geologic time scales all species are exotic. With every change in sea level and shoreline, with the raising or eroding of every mountain range, with every changing weather pattern, life spreads out as it can and comes into contact with new environments, opportunities and hazards. I know you realize HH, that the natural world, in any real time frame, is never that idealized balance, but a state of constantly fluctuating interspecies fortunes. We look through a 10 or 20-year window and see disaster. As I get older (than dirt), I find myself starting to think like the hills themselves. Some day after eroding and washing out to sea, I’ll be a hill again.

Hungry Hyaena said...


I couldn't agree more. (For the record, your last line is at least as good as my "The whole universe just breathes" closer!)

Having said that, I sometimes trump my skepticism of the "war on invasives" because I loathe homogenization. Just as Starbucks and WalMart are replacing the patchwork of mom-and-pop stores, so to are trophic generalists - monk parakeets, European starlings, red-eared sliders - replacing the trophic specialists.

Geologically speaking, I feel diversity will reassert itself, but we humans are essentially selfish brutes, and I think we need biodiversity for our spiritual well-being, even if that spirit is borne purely of the real. What can I say, it's the animist in me. Plus, I call always call on wildlife biology to make the same argument if I want to avoid getting into touchy-feely realms. ;)

Devo said...

Wait a sec... did I just read the words "spiritual well-being" in the comments section of Hungry Hyaena?! I do declare... The shaman in you is hatching, comrade. When the Hyaena appears to you in a dream state, follow. But if he leads you to a pyramid with Marge Simpson on the top, perhaps depart to find a different spirit guide. That one's just a dog.