November Discussion Post: How do we (and should we) perceive invasive species?

Invasion ecology and invasive species management is arguably the hottest topic in conservation in the 21st century. Countless ecosystems across the world are currently overrun with non-native invaders that pose threats to native biodiversity, and a large portion of conservation efforts and dollars are spent on attempts to limit the spread of these invasive animals and plants. Such attempts often come in the form of culls or other efforts to exterminate these invasive populations, and with these culls come a lot of harsh feelings toward the invasives. We see that people often ‘hate’ an invader because of its impacts on native species and take great pleasure in killing it for the sake of conservation. A great irony exists here: many folks that pride themselves on loving wildlife will view invasive species very negatively and imprint malicious feelings on them even though these species are mostly introduced because of human activities and are only trying to survive in their new environment. With these ideas in mind, how do you think we should view invasive species? Are they some sort of evil entity or are they also victims of human impacts on wildlife? Feel free to bring in examples of invasive species that you can think of, and if you would prefer not to comment on this issue feel free to simply share an observation you have made of an invasive species.

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We should acknowledge that invasive species are victims of unnatural displacement.
However, the demonization of said invasive species isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They didn’t ask to be removed from their natural range but that’s what happened and unless time travel comes into play, there’s not much we can do except remove them. By any means necessary. And if that means rallying local citizens to kill them then so be it. Whatever hatred comes along with that probably won’t do more harm than the animals themselves.


The species themselves shouldn’t be vilified, but we should deal with them in accordance to their impact on the environment they have been introduced into. If they are causing severe ecological damage, they certainly should be managed or removed if possible. Those that have a lesser impact should probably also be managed/removed, but that isn’t always feasible.