TIERethik - Zeitschrift zur Mensch-Tier-Beziehung


Alien species
Josef H. Reichholf

The conservationists’ crusade against “alien species” cumulated in a “black list” issued by the EU commission in 2016/17. The listing contains 49 invasive species of animals and plants, which should be persecuted merciless and extinguished if possible. Among the animals are racoon, coati, muntjac, four squirrel species, as well as the Sacred Ibis, all highly developed species prone to suffer. A closer examination, however, reveals a startling lack of scientific sound studies and data for the condemnation of these species. Only economic damage, control costs, and ecological alterations are presumed, and the adulteration of fauna and flora is argued. Interests of hunters, anglers, agriculture, and forestry obviously backed up the decisions for being included into the “black list.” Unfortunately conservationists accepted this course of action because it fitted well to its philosophy of rejecting alien species, a way of thinking, which is prone to being misused by more or less hidden, really dangerous political trends. The persecution of alien species, therefore, has to be quested seriously. From an ethical point of view the EU “black list” as well as the general separation of “native and/or indigenous” and “alien” should be rejected.

Keywords: alien species, invasive species, nature protection, protection of species