Posted by: atowhee | March 31, 2021

CAN AN INVASIVE BECOME A WELCOME ADDITION?

Clearly not all invasive species are alike. I personally prefer henbit over starthistle or even French broom. Many westerners in the U.S. would rather see a couple more collared-doves than a gang of starlings. In Europe they exterminated our American native, the Ruddy Duck, because it was destroying the nests of their native ducks and endangered their already scarce White-headed Duck. Yet in Merrie Olde these days the Mandarin is breeding rampantly, inhabiting ponds in many London parks. Beauty can get you by in many cases.
My old college chum and inveterate walker, Yani Sinanaglou and his wife recently saw this handsome pair in Battersea Park:

Obviously: male on left, female on right. Cousins to our Wood Duck. Mandarins native to Asia, now feral in parts of Europe. Other feral species there are the Egyptian Goose, and Rose-ringed Parakeets which can be found in several cities including London and Amsterdam. Europe, like North America, has been quietly invaded and populated by collared-doves, from South Asia originally.

Yani and his wife see a lot of London’s urban wildlife, they either walk or bike much of the time, owning no auto and most public transit being a bit iffy during the pandemic.

The mandarin has not been identified as any kind of environmental problem so far. They do not use ponds frequented by the local natives. For more click here. It is estimated there may be 8000 now wild in England where they were originally imported for estate wildfowl collections, a common thing un parks and wealthy estates across the U.K.


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