Grounding their roots, literally, in our soil, invasive species come from far and wide, via barge or souvenir-stuffed suitcases, in what horticulturists and biologists across the city call a serious threat to our habitat. Deceiving to the common eye, these foreign born pests and plants raise significant challenges for the city's Department of Parks and Recreation: monitoring, controlling and even eradicating top the list.The article provides a broad overview of some of the most damaging, or visible, invasive species present in New York City. I especially commend Gotham Gazette for taking on what I call Brooklyn's most charismatic invasive species, the Monk Parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus:
For centuries, New York has been inundated by foreign-born plants and wildlife. Even creatures we now consider common -- like our subway or sewer rat -- are invasive species. We may have adapted to some of them -- whether we wanted to or not -- but other more contemporary wildlife pose a serious threat to the sanctity of our natural flora and fauna, say city scientists.
- Invasion New York, Gotham Gazette, August 11, 2008
The birds have attracted the ire of Con Edison and other electric companies for building huge nest for their colonies on light poles. In Connecticut, a power company, United Illuminated, is seeking permission to kill the birds, while in Florida researchers have proposed mixing contraceptives in with bird seed to limit the parrot population.The article itself doesn't use the scientific names of the species mentioned in the article. They are, however, provided for many of them with an accompanying feature, the Know Your Invasive Critters "trading cards."
Related PostsMy posts on Parrots, including my 2006 letter to the NY Times.