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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Native Versus Non-Native: Why are Some Species Allowed to Stay?
Volunteers in Newton, Massachusetts went to war against aquatic invasive species European water chestnut. They wore gloves to protect themselves and set about pulling the unwanted plants out by their roots.

The European water chestnut is one of about 1,500 plants and animals across the United States that have ended up settling in places where they don’t belong because of human activity; some intentional, some not.

The reasons to fight invasive species may be economic, or conservationist, or just practical, but some biologists questions whether the idea of dividing the world into native and non-native species is flawed.

They argue that the world changes and in some cases the arrival of a new plant or animals may actually help an ecosystem. They also question the fact that some species get to stay while others are pulled out by the roots.

Species migrate and some end up thriving while others go extinct. This would happen whether people were involved or not, and the best version of an environment is questionable. Especially since the best version probably existed before humans meddled with it.

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