Invasive species

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There’s nothing feral about this Australian wildcat. Photograph by Angus Emmott

Let’s give feral cats their citizenship

There's been a lot of talk about killing feral cats, with the government's recently announced war on cats, with a goal to kill two million by 2020. But let's embrace cats as part of Australia's environment.
Stoats (Mustela erminea), feral cats (Felis catus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and black rats (Rattus rattus) are invasive predators in different parts of the world. Clockwise from top left: Sabec/ (CC BY-SA 3.0); T Doherty; CSIRO/ (CC BY 3.0); 0ystercatcher/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife

Research published this week shows saving wildlife is much more complicated than killing introduced predators. Killing predators often doesn't work, and is sometimes actually worse for native wildlife.
Cane toads are still spreading across northern Australia. UNSW

Building fences could stop cane toads in their tracks

Cane toads, introduced in 1935 to control cane beetles, have now spread across a huge swathe of Australia, from the Kimberley in northern Western Australia to northern New South Wales. They’re still spreading…
Feral cats eat tens of millions of native animals in Australia every night. Another Eye

Feral feast: cats kill hundreds of Australian animals

Feral cats are estimated to eat tens of millions of native animals each night in Australia. But what kinds of wildlife are they eating? In research published today in the Journal of Biogeography, my colleagues…
Honeybees pollinate a third of Australia’s food crops. Losing them due varroa might would cost the economy billions of dollars. David McClenaghan

Australian farmers face increasing threat of new diseases: report

A nationwide outbreak of foot and mouth disease; an invasion of a devastating wheat disease; our honeybees completely wiped out. These are just three possible disastrous scenarios facing Australia; they’re…
The steampunk insect. photochem_PA

In defence of the stink bug

Stink bug. As names go it is a PR disaster, each of the words alone hardly endearing, and, in combination, wholly off-putting. Which is a shame because stink bugs have a perky charm, a distinctive style…
A green anole, clinging to a palm frond with nicely silhouetted toepads. Yoel Stuart

Invasive species trigger rapid evolution for lizards in Florida

Invasive species colonize and spread widely in places where they are not normally found. Invasives often affect native species by eating them, out-competing them and introducing unfamiliar parasites and…
Canary grass is an invasive plant, but new varieties are still being developed for pasture. Stuart Hay

Feed or weed? New pastures are sowing problems for the future

Weeds cost Australian farmers around A$4 billion every year — and they are likely to do a similar amount of damage to the environment. In a new global survey published this week in Proceedings of the National…
Tiny creatures, big problems. Government of Alberta

Quagga mussel: how we might fight off the dam-busting invader

The UK’s environment agency has confirmed quagga mussels, a fresh or brackish water mollusc, have been found in a reservoir near London. Quagga were previously identified as one of the single greatest…

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