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« Struggling carmakers still offer treats for dog lovers | Main | Change: We haz it »

14 January 2009

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Susan Fox

"I'm from Homo sapiens and I'm here to help."

Christie Keith

ROFL... Susan? You owe me a new keyboard and monitor, and a venti decaf.

Susan Fox

Come up to Humboldt County sometime and you'll at least get the decaf.

Ark Lady

The problem is pretty complex since we humans have made such a mess of things. This isn't the first or the last time this issue will raise its head.



Today, people are abandoning their non-native species locally and making more of a mess.



As for Humboldt, I miss it. Also the really good coffee houses--sucks to live in So. Cal. where most people don't know the first thing about good grounds.



:-)

Debbie

Yeah, these 80 degree winter days are really a bummer. Us Seattle transplants know the good grounds, though.

JenniferJ

Some sort of physical law that coffee tastes better the farther up the west coast one goes. I keep trying to replicate the effect but it's hopeless. (sigh).



As for non-native species, how about gradual population reduction via selective culling, birth control or relocation (when practical)? That would give an already altered ecosystem a chance to adjust and to demonstrate unintended consequences, which could then be addressed, before they go out of control.



After all, in many of these cases, the invasive species have been present for decades if not centuries.



If it's a recent invasion that has not gotten a foothold, then maybe getting them gone ASAP by more aggressive methods might then be the best choice.



As for feral cats in urban and suburban regions, it's important to note that while they do certainly prey on native species, they also help control other non-native species such as most rats. In suburban areas and rural areas, native and non-native fox of course will do much the same. Since we added cats to our property, the red fox family that was often seen or heard has moved off, I presume because the cats, using the house as home base, have claimed the territory. The cats seem to have a very set hunting territory, usually always close enough to the house for protection, staying well clear of the coyotes and grey fox hangout just to the south and east of or place.



Local AC and Anderson Valley Animal Rescue have instituted a barn cat program to place ferals with rural property owners if they do not have a colony to go to. It's a viable alternative to killing cats if they cannot stay where they are once altered. And it is an alternative also, for ranchers and farmers, to just letting existing cat populations breed to provide the service.





I was a bit surprised when reading this article that only the cats cost to the seabirds was figured in. Surely the rest of the islands ecology must be important? Wholesale rapid eradication using fumigation, poison bait etc... just has more "unintended consequences" written all over it.

Gina Spadafori

Oh Susan, you know I would move to Arcata in a heartbeat if I weren't stuck in Sacramento because of family and medical bennies.

Susan Fox

Well, you know you're always welcome to come for a visit.

Anne T

Heck, be cheaper and more fun ( for the dogs) to bring out some of braces of sighthounds and some hunting terriers to Macquarie. lol.

C.L.H.

I don't know what the answer is, but it's probably not mass destruction. An introduced species changes the balance and becomes part of the ecosystem. We have nutria which undermine the river banks here. They were introduced by someone who was going to start a fur business. Not sure what would happen if they were completely eradicated now. They've been here for a long time. Himalayan Blackberries are an introduced species here, also. They're a noxious weed, and they take over everything, but the ones in my backyard provide very good cover for the birds and are a food source besides. In the coast range they beat out the salal and salmonberries, but leave a much more plentiful food source for the black bears. I've developed a symbiotic relationship with my blackberries. I get pie and jam, they get to live.

Gina Spadafori

Calvin Trillan wrote a great piece for The New Yorker (if I'm remember it all correctly) about Louisiana's efforts to get the great chefs of New Orleans to come up with recipes for nutria as a way to get some demand for the non-native species.



Seriously, though, is there anything worse that kudzu? When I was living near Tallahassee I could not believe how quickly that crap grows. I swear you could see it do so with the naked eye. And out in the backwoods you would see buildings that the vines had pulled apart.

C.L.H.

Someone found kudzu in the Portland area a few years back. I think the winters are too cold and wet for it to survive, thank goodness! They cleaned it out as quickly as they could. We have English ivy eradication programs here. It kills everything it grows over and it's incredibly invasive and destructive. Oregon actually has a watchdog program to monitor non-native species. If you see something suspicious, you just report it.

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