Episode 232: Managing the invasion

Defender Radio
For thousands of years, humankind has studied the delicate interplay of species across the vast web of life. And for thousands of years, we’ve successfully screwed it right up.

From the time of Aristotle to today’s grade one classrooms, understanding how ecosystems work has been a vital part of scientific study. But what we don’t know, or, more appropriately, what we can’t fully and accurately measure and predict, far outweighs what we do know.

One of the greatest risks facing ecosystems, and one that we are almost always directly responsible for, is invasive species. From domestic cats to insects like the emerald ash borer to fungi causing disease in bat colonies, havoc is stretched around the globe.

And ecological scientists like Dr. Euan Ritchie at Deakin University in Australia are dedicated to trying to understand, and when possible measure, the minute roles that all of these species play in ecosystems.

In a recently published study, Dr. Ritchie and his colleagues explore the attempts to manage invasive species and the consequences – some of which may be lead to significant changes in management practice.

Dr. Ritchie joined Defender Radio to discuss this paper, the role predators play, and how we can work to improve policy for animals and the environment around the world.

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