Britain Amongst the Worst Countries for Alien Invaders

The United Kingdom (UK) has found itself invaded by alien plants and animals and is one of the hardest hit, a new worldwide study has discovered.  Such plants and creatures as grey squirrels; Himalayan balsam weeds; and Indian rose-ringed parakeets have placed Britain in the top ten percent of countries giving quarter to aliens.

Before these new interlopers ruin ecosystems, those in the know are calling for more severe controls on imports, which would stem the flow of species that could be harmful before they become so.

Durham University is the source of the poll and reported that mainland coastal countries and certain islands are the most likely to be invaded by non-native species that make homes there.

The United States (US) Hawaiian Islands and the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, as well as New Zealand’s North Island, are the top three when counting the species.

The UK’s top ranking is attributable to record trade numbers. “We need to be much better at trying to prevent the introduction of species that can be harmful in the first place,” stated Dr. Wayne Dawson of Durham.  “Prevention is better than cure with invasive species.”

A total of eight groups of animals and plants were observed by worldwide researchers on eight groups of plants and animals across 423 regions on mainland as well as 186 islands.

Florida, in the United States (US), has a big example of an invasive type taking residence in North America.  It is the Burmese python. One example of a UK non-native species is the false widow spider and like any alien species is likely to do damage. In New Zealand, approximately one half of established plant residents did not begin in the the North Island.

“While species have been moved around the globe throughout history, more and more species will be introduced as the world becomes ever more connected, and the human population continues to grow,” according to Dawson.

Feral colonies of the parakeet established themselves In Britain around major cities such as Liverpool, London, and Manchester.  These are feared to be dangerous to original established groups.

While some believe the legend that Jimmy Hendrix put a pair of the birds from Carnaby Street into the British ecosystem in the 1960s, others posit it all began when the London Zoo was bombed during World War II.

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