Are they really as innocent as they seem?
By: Victor Alvarado
When we think of pests, the first thing that comes to mind are rats, cockroaches, and even flies, but what we can’t fathom is that any animal can be a pest, even a cute little rabbit or a pretty ladybug that found its way to our backyard. These animals, however, can be called invasive species instead of pests. Invasive species are animals that aren’t native to their current habitat and can harm said habitat and its native organisms. One might be wondering, “how can a little rabbit harm an entire habitat? ”If even two little rabbits are released by an irresponsible pet owner or an illegal pet breeder, they can”, according Jason Jackson, a biology teacher at MSSH. For example, European wild rabbits are native to Spain and Portugal, but were introduced to Australia in the 1800’s by European settlers. When these non-native animals are introduced to a foreign habitat, chances are that they will most likely have no native predator. These European rabbits had no natural predator to control their population, which lead to over reproduction and destruction for the people of Australia. The rabbits chewed their way through everything: crops, cables on the ground, plant-life, etc.
If any animal can be an invasive species, how do we as regular people identify them and help to control or even get rid of them? The answer to this lingering question is education, we as the people can educate ourselves on what species are invasive and on what tactics are most effective in getting rid of them. Methods to get rid of invasive species such as the European rabbits are hosting hunting seasons, setting out traps, or even introducing another non-native species like a predator (which would probably lead to another invasive species spiraling out of control) to hunt off the rabbits; however, the best recommended way to combat invasive species is to prevent them from happening in the first place. We can prevent this problem from happening by performing simple tasks: Fishing with native bait, not releasing pets into the wild, or as Ashanti Walker said, ” Just make it illegal, like enforcing laws against invasive species more and giving fines to those who disobey the law”.
I am minded, too, of other people’s pets. 🙂