Invasion of the Speciesist Arguments

From a New Yorker article on removing Invasive Species from the (California) Channel Islands

Although eradication begins with a rousing vision of nature restored, it can be devilishly difficult to achieve. First, there is the problem of its image. Over the years, the opponents of the Channel Islands eradications made a number of legal challenges. They argued that the conservationists had their calculus wrong. “To me the idea of species is just an abstract concept,” Rob Puddicombe, a prominent animal-rights activist, told a reporter for the Washington Post, in 2003. “These animals are here and alive now. Their lives have value.” It was alleged that Puddicombe and a conspirator had boated to Anacapa and laid out kibble for the rats there. The food was rich in Vitamin K, which was meant to counteract the anticoagulant that the eradicators planned to distribute. Nevertheless, the rodenticide succeeded: the rats died from internal hemorrhaging, and seabirds have since rebounded.

The headline writers at the Washington Post once again demonstrate their genius.

“I can see the headline now: Man Wants to Save Rats. Like ha, ha, ha,” Puddicombe said as he spoke with a reporter on the beach. “Which I do. I want to save the rats and I want to save the Xantus’s murrelet and the Anacapa deer mouse, too. I want to save them all.”

Which is the problem.

Resource managers at the Channel Islands National Park do not want the black rats of Anacapa Island saved. They want Rattus rattus exterminated. With a vengeance. To the rodent. Because to kill the rat is to save rare seabirds, whose eggs the rats eat.

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I felt compelled to fix those typos in the title!

and I would like to see Mr Puddicombe’s rights to access the channel islands restricted.

A sentencing to probation for a couple years should do the trick.


related: eat the invaders


Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is presently suffering from invasive carp, among other things.


I am going to guess that most metrics used to gauge a species invasiveness would apply quite well to humans.

Invasive crap too. :wink:

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Have you heard of Half Earth

Wilson recently calculated that the only way humanity could stave off a mass extinction crisis, as devastating as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, would be to set aside half the planet as permanently protected areas for the ten million other species. “Half Earth,” in other words, as I began calling it—half for us, half for them. A version of this idea has been in circulation among conservationists for some time.

“It’s been in my mind for years,” Wilson told me, “that people haven’t been thinking big enough—even conservationists. Half Earth is the goal, but it’s how we get there, and whether we can come up with a system of wild landscapes we can hang onto. I see a chain of uninterrupted corridors forming, with twists and turns, some of them opening up to become wide enough to accommodate national biodiversity parks, a new kind of park that won’t let species vanish.”


That’s one way to go about it. But this still doesn’t help with human’s pathological aversion to living in a normal biosphere. I think the solution lies not in preservation, but integration. Every other species lives amongst others, rather than separately, as it is the only way interrelated species have ever survived. Humans are not robust enough to survive in isolation. Nobody needs to go anywhere, just have the sense to cohabit with other species.

Perhaps you could lead by example?

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