The campaign for New Rat City Part 1 is now live! You can pick up the first half of the series on Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/honorvincent/new-rat-city-part-1/
The campaign will be running through October 18th. Tell your vermin-loving friends!
Speaking of my book about pest controllers: do you want to know about the weirdest non-NYC pest issue I came across in my reading about weird pest issues? Sure you do, you're in my newsletter.
In the 1800s, sailors and pirates brought the first goats to several of the Galápagos Islands, and they spread quick. They also behaved like you would expect pirate goats to behave: they climbed trees, they almost ate the islands to death, and worst of all, they stood on the turtles. There were almost 100,000 of them on the islands by 1997 (on the island of Pinta they went from 3 to 40,000 in a little over a decade). The aerial photos of that situation support my theory that anything is icky in a swarm.
They used a combination of helicopter hunting and goat espionage (with 'Judas' and 'Mata Hari' goats) to get the job done. You can read about the whole debacle in Nature.
Like the murder cats of New Zealand or the famine bunnies of Australia, it's interesting to see when an animal tips over the edge from useful to us to 'invasive' and in need of eradication. It is generally not tied up with how much they affect other species until they start stomping on the ones we care about, or eating our food.
There are plenty of invasive trees in New York that you are supposed to tattle on. One could make the case that the Holstein cows and pigs we raise as livestock are invasive from the perspective of everything that once lived on what's now farmland, too -- they're certainly not native to North America. But then again, living things do tend to move around a lot over a long enough span of time, with or without our help (even trees!). Isn't the concept of anything being invasive a bit silly when you believe in evolution and competition? But then again again, when we can see that we made a major goat related screw-up and can fix it, thereby preserving biodiversity, that's a good thing to do, no? Are turtles not worth more than goats?
I'm not about to answer any of those questions here. Instead, I have a selfish request: in my experience most people have A Story about a bug or a rat or a bird that got a little too familiar with the inside of their home. If you have one and haven't told me about it, please stop holding out on me. I want to know. Thank you.
'Til next time, unless a Norway Maple gets me,