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A lesson forgotten

Friday, September 08, 2006
At a place called "Diamond Lake", east of Roseburg, OR (and just north of Crater Lake) the water has been infested with a non-native fish species that destroyed the local ecology and has clouded otherwise beautiful clear waters. The solution, according to this news article, is to poison the water, killing the fish. More native species will be re-introduced the following year.

Gosh, this sounds familiar...

Let's hop in our wayback machine for a moment and study the history of rabbits in Australia. You see, way back in 1859 a couple dozen wild rabbits were set free in Australia.. and within 10 years millions could be killed or trapped per year without significantly slowing down the population boom of a rapidly-breeding animal with no local natural predators. Fast forward almost a century to the significant part of this story, when Australian authorities decided to introduce a highly contagious and deadly disease to their rabbit population. Called Myxomatosis, almost 500 million rabbits were killed. Unfortunately, this left about 100 million rabbits that had a genetic resistance to it... and they kept breeding.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

The state's plan is to release a poison toxic only to fish and kill 90 million of the tui chub in Diamond Lake. Are they sure it'll kill ALL of them? What if it kills 80 million? How long will it take for the other 10 (resistant now to that poison) to bring back the numbers? I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just saying that this better be done right...

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