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Kelley 1 Stewart Kelley Cris Longhurst English 1010 November 18, 2013

For the past two or three decades humanity has been conflicted on how to cope with one of the worlds largest threats to the extinction of native species, second only to habitat loss. (DAO 1) The research shows that it is vital for humans to intervene and to fight off the invasive species, and sometimes to the complete eradication of the invasive species. Without human intervention we will lose vital species that could potentially wipe out complete environments and ecosystems. The argument that humans are the largest contributor to introducing the invasive species can be made as well. There are billions of dollars being spent of the taxpayers money with no centralized governmental body to guide the issue. (DAO 1) Should we use human intervention to battle the growing problem of Invasive Species? The larger picture and for the greater good of the planet, humans must intervene. With proper education and informing the public of the threat of invasive species, and with the help of human intervention, we can protect and preserve some if not all of our fragile ecosystems. Invasive species are harmful and nonnative plant, animal, or microorganisms. They are found throughout the world including the United States. In a United States Federal Government Accountability Office Report (GAO) it states, The damage that is created by the invasive species through damaging crops, rangeland, waterways, and all types of environments and

Kelley 2 ecosystems is estimated to cost in the billions of dollars annually. There is a committee of departments that contribute and act as a liaison to the cause, some of which are The Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The government is trying to get collaboration between the states government and the federal governments, The possible drawbacks most often identified by state officials included concerns that a single piece of legislation would not be able to address the possible problems dealing with the invasive species, and that aquatic and terrestrial invasive species programs would have to compete for resources. (GAO 2) This shows that even the government is having its own issues about how to deal with the invasive species in addition to the problem of financing and how it will be dispersed. It only takes one invasive species to completely wipe out a native species which could potentially wipe out the ecosystem as a whole. The accomplished and leading scientist for thirty years of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Jeffery A. McNeely and currently, A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, wrote in the Environment 46.6 (2004) Strangers in Our Midst: The Problem Of Invasive Species He points out that for all animal extinctions where we know the cause, invasive species are the largest of all other problems, contributing to the extinction of Thirty-nine percent of species that have become extinct since 1600. (McNeely 1) The invasive species is not necessarily a bad species but it is more like a species behaving badly in a specific environment, usually do to the inappropriate human intervention. Since the beginning of time, humans have been trading in goods, foods, and animals. During trade and travel throughout history to present, the invasive species have been introduced either by direct intention or by the species stowing away on animals, carts, ships, and now on airplanes.

Kelley 3 Approximately 700 million travelers a year are crossing borders. That means there are opportunities for them to carry an invasive species with them by accident or by intention. Many people bring in plants and fruits from all around the globe. For example, the Asian Long-horned beetle is one of the newest and most harmful of the invasive species found in the United States. Introduced by accident, from low-quality packing crates from Northern Asia, the beetle was introduced. The beetle lives amongst the native maples, elders, elms, horse chestnuts, and other trees and plant life. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that if the beetle becomes established, it could eliminate the shade trees of main street America, affect lumber and maple production, threaten tourism in infested areas, and reduce the biological diversity of our forests. (McNeely 3) It should seem quite obvious that we as humans are the major contributing factor for introducing invasive species. So if we are capable of introducing them then it can be assumed that we can eradicate them. In the article Eradicating Invasive Species Can Preserve Endangered Ecosystems written by Jane Braxton Little, an English major with a BA from Earlham College and a MA from Harvard in Cultural History. She has written for numerous national publications, some of which include Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, High Country News, American Forests and Audubon, where I she is a contributing editor. In her article she points out that sometimes killing the invasive species is the only way to protect biodiversity. She explains that a major cause of species extinction is nonnative animals introduced over the centuries by humans such as cats, dogs, goats, rats, rabbits, snakes, and pigeons. (Little 1) On an island along the Mexican coast and in the Gulf of California, invasive mammals have annihilated the murrelets and four other species of birds on just fourteen of the islands. Cats alone wiped out half of the population of laysan albatross on Guadalupe Island in

Kelley 4 2001. Until recently they were responsible for more than 1000 black-vented shearwaters deaths a month on another island called Natividad, the breeding ground for 95 percent of that species. (Little 3) With help of human intervention and the Island Conservation Group, based in Santa Cruz, California, along with its Mexican affiliates, these and other species have survived because of these groups in addition have eradicated thirty-nine invasive mammal populations on twenty-five different islands. The results are extremely impressive. Seabirds are rebounding, and plants thought to be extinct are reappearing. Controlling exotic species is a grim reality, says Little, while no decision to use lethal measures should be taken lightly, killing should be used as a last resort after all measures have failed; sometimes it is the only way to protect biodiversity, she says. The risk is ending up with a world of pigeons, rats, and cockroaches.(Little 4) The facts all seem to point in the direction that we do need to use human intervention to assist in controlling invasive species. We humans have been the largest single factor of introducing the invasive species. The research shows that if we do not act, and act quickly on all fronts possible, that we will lose very important resources and multiple species. Winston Churchill was once quoted, You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after theyve exhausted all other responsibilities. With the governments of the world coming together we are dealing with the global issue of invasive species, as humans not just Americans, Canadians, or Europeans but the whole human race.

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Works Cited

Jane Braxton, Little. "Eradication Invasive Species Can Preserve Endangered Ecosystems." Endangered Species (2006): 74-80. oposing viewpoints in context. web. 7 oct 2013.

Jeffrey A, McNeely. "Strangers In Our Midst: The problem of Invasive Alien Species." Environment 46.6 (2004): 1-21.

McGrath, Susan. "Attack of The Alien Invaders." National Geographic 4 October 2005: 17.

Office, Government Accountability. "Invasive Species: State and other nonfederal pesrspectives on challenges managing the Problem." GOA Report (2003): 1-42.