Giant Swamp Rats and the Rights of Invasive Species


I have always tried to stand up for the rights of other beings and I believe that they at least deserve consideration. However, the issue of invasive species is challenging. On one hand, here is a creature that deserves the right to live and feed in its habitat, just as a human would. On the other hand, it is destroying the habitat and can drive native creatures to extinction. Matt Cantor from Newser Staff documents this dilemma in a Detroit Free Press article about Nutria, a cute species of swamp rat responsible for large-scale erosion in southern Louisiana.

While it is clear that the Nutria is disastrous for Louisiana, it also seems unfair to have them systematically eliminated, especially since humans were responsible for their introduction into the area (they were brought from Argentina for fur). Take a look at this brief article and keep this in mind when you consider the rights of invasive species. Think about what species have been problematic to the area you live in. What do you think is an effect strategy to contain them? Is there a humane option?

Source: “Louisiana is shrinking, thanks to giant swamp rats”. Matt Cantor. Detroit Free Press. 9 May 2013.

Image: Eustis Christine, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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