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Think Out Loud

The Yellow Starthistles Are Coming!

Pete Springer/OPB

What is the best way to react to invasive species?

If you tune in to OPB TV tonight, you’ll learn all about species of plants and animals deemed “invasive” because they are not native to Oregon and because they spread rapidly due to a lack of natural predators. Plants such as the yellow starthistle threaten to drive out native grasses, and feral pigs can carry diseases that are fatal to people and animals.

What can be done about these weeds and critters before their populations grow to overwhelming numbers? Should they be eradicated — and if so, how? Should we use pesticides? Should we combat one foreign species by bringing in another?

Or, as our ecosystems adapt, should we follow suit? Should we somehow learn to live with our new neighbors?

Photo credit: C.L. Mathers / Flickr / Creative Commons


ecosystem invasive species weeds

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