Summary of “What Happens When Humans Fall In Love With An Invasive Species”

All over the world, you’ll find invasive species that are beloved by humans – even as these foreign plants and animals alter or damage the environment.
The fight against invasive species is often framed as a technological problem – how do you selectively eliminate a species once it’s made itself at home in an environment? But in reality, it’s also a question of human hearts and minds.
Smelt may not fit into the stereotype that invasive species are all bad, but the sea lamprey does.
In Lake Superior in 2017 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration counted 82 non-native species, only about a quarter of which were harmful invasive species that provided no redeeming benefits.
Globally, nobody knows exactly how many invasive species have muscled their way into spaces where nature didn’t intend them to go, or what percentage of those species are smelt-like mixed bags vs. lamprey-like forces of pure destruction.
According to a 1999 executive order that established the National Invasive Species Council, an invasive species is a non-native plant or animal “Whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm.” But what counts as “Harm”?
In other parts of the country, beekeepers and ranchers have fought bitterly over whether an invasive flower, called yellow starthistle, should be considered generally beneficial or generally harmful, said Mark Hoddle, director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at the University of California, Riverside.
The basic idea was that we should try to stop new invasive species, and when something is really damaging, we should invest in serious eradication efforts, but some non-native species just aren’t worth spending the energy and cash required to get rid of them.

The orginal article.