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Damned Exotics...:(

The web version can be found at

>From The Ecological X-Files:
 Proof That Aliens Are Destroying Endangered Species
 The most comprehensive assessment ever made of threats to vanishing
species in the US has found that alien species are behind the
disappearance of nearly half of the imperiled species in the United
States.  Alien species are plants and animals that are not native to a
given region, but which have been brought there by people.  Some are
brought there accidentally aboard ships or planes; others are
intentionally released.  Once in these new areas, they can increase in
numbers and displace native species from their habitats.
 The study, jointly prepared by scientists from the Environmental Defense
Fund (EDF), The Nature Conservancy, and the Smithsonian Institution,
appears as the cover story in the August issue of BioScience, to be
released on Friday (7/17).  Only habitat loss ranks as a more serious
threat, affecting 85% of our vanishing species, while alien species
affect 49%.  Alien species rank well ahead of pollution (24%),
overharvest (17%), and disease (3%) as threats to biodiversity. 
Agriculture and commercial development are identified as the two most
widespread causes of habitat loss for wildlife, affecting 38% of
imperiled species, followed by commercial development (35%) and water
development (30%).
 "Alien invasion is the least recognized threat to wildlife today. 
People understand that habitat destruction and pollution are harmful to
wildlife.  But they don't realize that alien plant and animal species are
everywhere, growing in our forests and grasslands, swimming in our lakes
and rivers, and driving native species to the brink of extinction," said
EDF senior ecologist Dr. David S. Wilcove, lead author of the
peer-reviewed article.
 The article, "Quantifying Threats to Imperiled Species in the United
States," ranks the threats to 1,880 rare species and subspecies of birds,
mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, mussels, butterflies, beetles,
dragonflies, other invertebrates, and plants. 
 "Simply protecting habitats from further development won't do the trick
for most of our endangered species.  We need to control invasive, alien
plants and animals that are degrading the remaining habitats.  That takes
time and money," said Wilcove.  "Tax credits and direct grants are needed
for landowners who agree to manage their properties in ways beneficial to
endangered species, including controlling harmful alien species."
 The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national, NY-based nonprofit
organization, represents 300,000 members.  EDF links science, economics,
and law to create innovative, equitable and economically viable solutions
to today's environmental problems. 

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