Invasive Species: Or Perhaps Non-Native Species

by Cped101 on October 4, 2016 - 8:14pm

   An interesting and very informative news article in regards to invasive species, or shall I say ‘non-native species’. This is the newly introduced term that scientists are now using to deter this misconception that every non-native species is always bad. The main actors involved in this article are the researchers who study non-natives species in Canada. Studies have shown that not all non-native species are bad for the environment. These scientists like to take the approach that these species are simply migrators looking for a new home, not a monster trying to corrupt the environment (Kachur, 2016). An interesting outlook, I think this tactic is great! People often look at the word invasive and associate it with being a negative thing. However, it is interesting to note that the article mentions many species that we associate in our environment in Canada as native that actually are not. In particular, the honeybee, a species that was brought to Canada by European settlers but has now adapted and benefitted our environment (Kachur, 2016). Perhaps we should not always judge a species before we know its capabilities. In order for scientists to evaluate whether or not a species is at risk for our environment, they under go a risk assessment. A concept that has been brought up several times within our class in regards to sustainable development. Again, the scientists express that in regards to these invasive or non-native species, it all depends on how you value the environment.

   This concept can be associated with the conflicts that occur in natural resource management (Mitchell, 2015). For example, how people value a specific ‘invasive’ or ‘non-native’ species can vary depending on your background or belief system. This example, not particularly focusing on invasive species, however, can be demonstrated with the on-going battles between the Aboriginal people, the Canadian government, and Canadian industries. Ultimately, the Aboriginal people want to leave the environment as untouched and to not be used for extraction for economical value. Rather, they would like to maintain their lifestyle of living off the land naturally, by hunting and fishing (Mitchell, 2015). However, how the Canadian government and resource extracting industries value the environment differently. It is seen more as an economic value that can benefit the economy and the well-being of society (Mitchell, 2015). Ultimately, there are contrasting opinions on environmental values and this concept of conflict within natural resource management can definitely be seen with invasive species. Again, how these species are valued is rather difficult. As the researchers have said, it is difficult to evaluate these species as the environment is constantly changing (Kachur, 2016). That being said, if valuing these species is rather tricky because if the environment is constantly changing, then it would be difficult to determine how invasive that species actually is. As of now, the only option to handle non-native species is to maintain a balance within the ecosystems. Scientists can learn more about them through risk assessment, however, sometimes the best option is to let the environment adapt to these changes on their own. Furthermore, this concludes this blog on invasive species. I hope that as a reminder, you will remember it is not always nice to judge a book by its cover, or perhaps its value within the environment.  

Work Cited

Kachur, T. (2016). Conservationists debate ‘invasive species’ vs. ‘non-native’ labels. CBC News: Technology & Science. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/conservationists-debate-invasive-speci...

Mitchell, B. (2015). Resource and Environmental Management in Canada (Fifth. ed.) Ontario, CA: Oxford University press. 

Comments

I believe the idea of creating a general term in lieu of invasive being a negative term is a great idea. Allowing the population to get a better understanding of the benefits of the species that seem to be inhabiting the affected area. It would be interesting to hear a tone playing on both sides. Seeing someone take the term as a more negative thought. As mentioned there is a controversy noted among a few species. The wattle-neck Soft shell turtles are an interesting point to take further into the controversy between the switching of terms.

http://www.csuchico.edu/cwe/features/tag-engstrom.shtml
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87843464