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Thread: Animals where they don't belong might turn out okay: Cocaine Hippos of Colombia

  1. #1
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    Animals where they don't belong might turn out okay: Cocaine Hippos of Colombia

    Pablo Escobar's wild "cocaine hippos" in Colombia are actually helping the rivers' ecology.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/envir...ia/ar-BB11UMDA
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  2. #2
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    and?
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
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  3. #3
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    I'm very doubtful. Even that linked article says the following:
    For now, the ecological impact of Escobar's hippos is still largely unknown. But some experts have suggested that the hippos aren't such a boon for the environment. In fact, they may upset the balance of Colombian ecosystems, because they produce significant quantities of dung that can affect the water's oxygen levels, according to Scientific American.
    Even if further study indicates a net benefit in this case, it would be the exception, not the rule. The introduction of non-native species is generally bad to horrible, cane toads in Australia being one of the better known examples (out of many).

    From the US Fish & Wildlife Service page on invasive species

    Q: How many invasive species are there in the U.S?
    A: Although the numbers vary widely, some of the current research estimates that there are approximately 50,000 (Pimentel, 2004) non-native species in the United States today. However, of that 50,000 species, approximately 4,300 have been considered invasive species (Corn et. al, 1999).
    Q: Why are invasive species a problem? - links to a huge list of general effects and specific examples of the problems.
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    Giant Asian hornets have turned up in the USA. I'm not seeing any possible benefit to that.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Giant Asian hornets have turned up in the USA. I'm not seeing any possible benefit to that.
    They give people another reason to stay inside, slowing the spread of Coronavirus?
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  6. #6
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    Introduction of a large, aggressive herbivore to an ecology where it is not native, I think should generally be avoided.

    If anyone wants to do something about it, the sooner it is done, the easier it will be.

    I also assume "cocaine hippos" means they were paid for with cocaine profits, not that the hippos are users of cocaine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Giant Asian hornets have turned up in the USA. I'm not seeing any possible benefit to that.
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    They give people another reason to stay inside, slowing the spread of Coronavirus?
    Or, alternatively, people staying inside will give them a better chance to spread. And when I posted that, I hadn't yet learned that it's my state where they've been found.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #8
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    Why scientists want to kill Colombia's hippos. A group of hippos originally imported by Pablo Escobar to his private zoo decades ago has multiplied and, according to scientists, is now spreading through one of the country's main waterways - the River Magdalena. Last month, a study published in the Biological Conservation journal said culling the animals was the only way to mitigate their environmental impact. "It is obvious that we feel sorry for these animals, but as scientists we need to be honest," Colombian biologist Nataly Castelblanco, one of the study's authors, told the BBC. "Hippos are an invasive species in Colombia and if we do not kill a part of their population now, the situation could be out of control in just 10 or 20 years."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-56011594
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  9. #9
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    Invasive species good news bad news joke -
    Good news: In the long term, invasive species are good for species diversity
    Bad news: The long term is ten or twenty million years.
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

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