January 9, 2013
Invasive species are groups of organisms that are unnaturally occurring to an area. When introduced, they can cause economic and physical harm to humans and ecosystems. The importing, legally and illegally, of invasive species into our society is not only harmful to our population and our ecosystem but also the population of plants and animals in their indigenous homeland. To continue, the smuggling of plants and animals into new ecosystems is caused by a number of reasons. In terms of money to be made, illegal wildlife smuggling is second to illegal drugs, with illegal arms trade right behind. The U.S. State Department reports that this industry is worth around ten billion dollars a year. Plants and animals are commonly imported into this country for luxury items, ethnic foods, and traditional medicines. Furthermore, numerous exotic species of animals are trafficked into this country every year, anything from snakes to tarantulas to birds. The most common contraband would be birds; around five million a year is the U.S. State Department’s estimate. Eleven different illegally obtained pets were found in a Singapore apartment, including scorpions, pythons, and various lizards. It is said that millions of turtles, snakes, crocodiles, skinks, sugar gliders, snails, bees, and many other reptiles, mammals, and insects are illegally smuggled in every year. Our ecosystem is greatly affected by foreign invaders, be them plant or animal. Invasive species can carry diseases or containments that endanger the well being of native humans, plants, animals, and environment. They posses the ability to damage indigenous water and food supplies. Many invaders will take advantage of resources and lack of predators in a new ecosystem, which in turn can lead to extinction of our own plants and animals. The Mountain Pine Beetle is responsible for the destruction of three point six million acres of trees in Colorado and...
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