Taming the ‘New Wild’: tackling the good and the bad with invasive species
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There has been a healthy debate in invasion biology about how we view, study and manage non-indigenous species (NIS). On the one side, those that argue ecologists and biologists are unduly biased against NIS see the influence of culture and bigotry infecting what should be rationale scientific enquiry (Davis et al. 2011). On the other side are ecologists who see the study of NIS as an integral part of sound ecological study and environmental management (Alyokhin 2011; Lockwood et al. 2011; Simberloff et al. 2011). What is needed to move forward is a thoughtful, nuanced and balanced treatment of this debate and the role of NIS in maintaining the ‘natural’ in a changing world. Unfortunately, the book “The New Wild” by Fred Pearce, is not that balanced treatment. Instead, Pearce presents a very one-sided treatment of the topic, where evidence counter to his thesis that NIS will save nature is most often overlooked, straw men are erected to aid in his goal, and the representation of the...
The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own, but I wish to acknowledge valuable discussion and feedback from Ben Gilbert, Stuart Livingstone, Jay Stachowicz, and Art Weis.
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