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Empty ecoclogical niches
There was a thread going around last week on one of these list about
filling an empty ecological niche with an exotic. I just wanted to add my
comments to that and maybe hear some ideas from others.
I think first and foremost, any empty niche should be filled by a native.
If the niche was vacated by an existing species (due to man's
intervention) it would be best to restock that species using either other
wild stocks or captive reared animals. If that is not possible, then
perhaps another subspecies from the same species (there are several
Orangethroat darter subspecies for example) should be considered. Or
perhaps another species native to the region with similar needs. The last
resort would be to fill the niche with an exotic and only after careful
research to determine it's long term effects. In fact, I would recommend
NOT filling the niche to introducing an exotic if that is at all possible.
Any other opinions?