Do exotic, invasive, aliens keep you up at night? Are they in your neighborhood?

Most of us live in cities now, which must seem like rather exotic, alien habitats to other denizens of our planet, full of strange creatures they’ve never encountered before. By which I mean not just us hairless apes, but many other species too, from distant corners of the Earth. For we also tend to fill our cities with plants and animals we like, even though they don’t come from the immediate neighborhood of the city.

Does this worry you, this proliferation of exotic species in urban landscapes? It should, especially when they become invasive. So what can we do about them? Over at The Nature of Cities (a wonderful blog to which I contribute from time to time) editor David Maddox is hosting a roundtable discussion on the topic of exotics in the city. I’m one of a dozen or so contributors to this particular roundtable, the 8th of a monthly series on the blog. We were all asked to submit short pieces (600 words) to address this month’s topic:

How much should we worry about exotic species in urban zones? How do we reduce damage from exotic invasives when management resources are limited?  Are there conflicts between management or eradication efforts and building general support for urban biodiversity?

So head on over there to read our brief essays, and then join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments. All of the authors will be participating actively in the roundtable discussion over the next few weeks, addressing each other’s posts and responding to readers’ comments. So I hope to see you there!

In drafting my own essay response, my thoughts on invasive species wandered farther afield (there’s invasiveness for you!) than David’s questions, and I had to rein them in to stick to the roundtable’s format and word limit. So now I’ve got this whole other rambling post on invasive species, which I might as well share here. So watch out for that to land here too, shortly…

One thought on “Do exotic, invasive, aliens keep you up at night? Are they in your neighborhood?

  1. Macrobe

    Looking forward to your post. Currently intimately learning about the complexities of an invasive species (Asian carp) and the intricacies of impact on ecosystem and their management at Malheur Wildlife Refuge. And the role of humans that share that ecosystem. I imagine that the human component is much larger in urban environments. 🙂

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