Ill-conceived introductions

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Mon Jun 18 14:19:42 EDT 2001

Each of us must have our favorite story(ies) about biological control
gone awry. 

I like the one about the Mongoose introduced in the West Indies to
control the Fer de Lance or rats (I've heard both explanations).  Its
favorite prey, however, is ground-nesting birds, many of which have
become much rarer and some of which have apparently disappeared due to
this ill-conceived introduction. 

Mike Gochfeld

"John R. Grehan" wrote:
> >
> >There are many arguments that could be made against these points (for
> >example, most biological
> >control releases are made explicitly to correct a previous human blunder
> >or accident),
> This might be true and it would be interesting to quantify, but what I have
> seen of introductions is that it is not so much previous human blunder and
> accident than perceived expediency. Introduction of a foreign organism may
> appear to represent a convenient solution to other management choices, such
> as pesticides, and one that lacks detrimental health effects. However, it
> appears that all to frequently biocontrols are introduced with either
> little regard or at best an inadequate or unrealistic regard for potential
> ecological or other biological consequences (such as competing with a
> native species, feeding on non-target organisms). Against such impacts is
> it possible that certain butterfly releases pale into insignificance?
> John Grehan
> John Grehan
> Frost Entomological Museum
> Pennsylvania State University
> Department of Entomology
> 501 ASI Building
> University Park, PA 16802. USA.
> Phone: (814) 863-2865
> Fax: (814) 865-3048
> Frost Museum
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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Michael Gochfeld, MD, PhD
Professor of Environmental and Community Medicine
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute
170 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854  USA
732-445-0123 X627  fax 732-445-0130


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