Monday, January 16, 2012

Goats vs Tortoises?

When talking goats here in Maryland, I like to point folks towards my favorite herd, the Eco-Goats, who are fighting the good fight against invasive plant species (and helping out the state's endangered turtle). But as you all are aware, not all eco-systems are created equal and what may benefit one place could be detrimental to another. No where is this truth more visible today than on the Galapagos Islands of Espanola. There, a population of hundreds of thousands of tortoises (Geochelone hoodensis) has decreased to a few thousand as the population of goats, introduced to the islands by humans, increased exponentially.

So what did scientists decide to do to save the population of tortoises to extinction? A pretty brutal goat eradication program that I'd rather not paraphrase. Read all about it here. The good news is: their efforts, that have been going on unbeknownst to me since the 1970s, appear to have been successful and the turtle population is going to be a-okay. The bad news is: their war on goats has been going on unbeknownst to me since the 1970s.

All kidding aside, it sounds like a success story. One eco-systems' trash is a blogger in Maryland's treasure.

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