Immigrant ducks threaten Europe

I do wonder if this research finding would have been reported in quite this language if there wasn’t such legitimacy for anti-immigration discourse at the moment.

Meet Ruddy (pictured left), who accompanies the following BBC news story:

Leading experts on invasive species are demanding Europe-wide legislation be put in place by next year to tackle the threat to native wildlife.

The researchers want urgent action from the EU to protect Europe’s indigenous species from these “alien invaders”.

Invasive, non-native animals, plants and microorganisms cause at least 12 billion euros of damage in Europe each year.

The scientists are meeting at the Neobiota conference in Copenhagen.

They are demanding Europe-wide legislation to be in place by next year to ensure the threat doesn’t worsen.

Invasive species are defined as those that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a place where they are not normally found.

A European inventory in 2008 found more than 10,000 alien species in Europe, with 1,300 having some kind of impact. This impact was exerted either on the environment, economy or, on human health.

Am astounded at the articulations: invasive-threaten-native; protect-indigenous species-from-alien invaders (okay, yes, in scare quotes); invasive-non-native-cause-damage.

One could historicise this and wonder about the ‘alien species’ which Europeans brought to their ‘colonies’ which ‘had an impact’ on the environment, economy and human health (I’m thinking diseases which decimated indigeneous populations; American Indians; plants in Australia; opium wars in China…).

Not that I want to dispute the findings of the inventory. It just seems a peculiar way of framing the story.

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