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- Merchandisers required for selling consumer electronics in premium hypermarkets. Email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org....
- Beautician required for a full-time position at a home-visiting beauty service company. Should have experience with nail...
- Professional data recovery services available. We recover data from crashed, deleted, formatted hard drives and all othe...
- Government of Maharashtra, Indian office MFC at JAFZA is looking to coordinate and liaison with importers in Dubai. We i...
- Administrative assistant urgently required for a courier company at Baniyas Road in Deira, Dubai. Should have an experie...
- Indian/Pakistani driver required for a full-time job in Dubai. Should be on residence visa. Good knowledge of city locat...
- Toyota Yaris, 2013 model for rent on a daily weekly monthly basis. Best offers on a yearly basis. Call Wasi: 0506003130,...
- Accountant with 3 years and 5 months of experience in Dubai and 9 years of experience in total. Expert in general ledger...
- Tele-sales female required for a position in Dubai. Candidates should be on father or husband’s visa. Ability to work ...
- Nissan Tiida, 2011 model for sale. In excellent condition. Fully automatic. Price: Dh37,000. Bank loan can be arranged. ...
Thursday, June 20, 2013
|Source: Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group|
Non-natives threatening biodiversity
Invasive species are found around the globe, and their presence outside of their native areas is damaging the world's ecosystems and threatening biodiversity. Some - like the five on this list - seem almost unstoppable.
For years, people have brought non-native species into their countries because they're pretty, or because they may be able to solve a problem. For instance, some might have imported amphibians or birds to eat insects that were destroying local crops. Except things didn't exactly work out as planned. Lacking natural predators, the non-native species often thrived in their new surroundings to the point where they became problems - sometimes, rather big ones.
5. Asian Carp
Native to China and parts of Southeast Asia, Asian carp were introduced into the southeastern United States more than 20 years ago to clear algae from catfish ponds. Since then, the fish - known for their ravenous appetites - have worked their way up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, devouring so much plankton and other organisms that there's little left for the native species. Add to that an insanely high reproductive rate and few natural predators, and you can see why they're quickly decimating all the native fish species in their path. Now they're poised to enter the Great Lakes - an area already compromised by non-native sea lampreys, plus zebra and quagga mussels - where many fear they'll ruin the lakes' $7 billion fishing and tourism industries. But it's not just the Great Lakes that are endangered. The fish are also in the Kansas River and threatening to swim into the Arkansas. Plus, they're causing similar problems in Eastern Europe. And who knows where these giant fish - some top 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms) - will swim from there? One bright spot: Asian carp are a delicacy in China, where they're increasingly rare, due to overfishing. Some Midwestern fishermen are now catching these fish and selling them back to China.
4. Golden Bamboo
Who doesn't appreciate the beauty of bamboo? Tall and strong, with delicate green leaves and an exotic, calming look, its appeal is apparent in the fact that several hundred species have been imported to the U.S. by the horticultural industry for use as ornamental plants. But bamboo can be a bit, well, nasty, especially the 24 varieties within the genus Phyllostachys. And Phyllostachys aurea, or golden bamboo, is the nastiest of them all. Golden bamboo was brought to Alabama from China in 1882 to create visual and sound barriers for privacy. An aggressive, fast-growing plant that can reach heights of 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters), it quickly overtook everything in its path, destroying native plants and the habitats they provide for wildlife, and offering nothing in return. In the U.S. today, golden bamboo is a problem mainly in the Southeast, from Maryland to Arkansas, although it's also causing problems in Oregon and other Western states. The cost to U.S. taxpayers to fight its spread is an astonishing $138 billion per year. But it's not just America that's fighting golden bamboo. The plant is cultivated worldwide as an ornamental in tropical to temperate areas, and other countries - such as Australia - have problems controlling it, too
3. European Rabbits
Ah, bunnies. They're so adorable, aren't they? Unless you're a homeowner or farmer, that is. Those cute, fuzzy little critters are ruining land all over the world, causing soil erosion through their overgrazing and burrowing. They also nibble on people’s landscaping and flowers, and negatively impact native species by damaging fragile ecosystems. European rabbits are native only to Southern Europe and Northern Africa. But over time, they've been introduced to almost every continent. And wherever they've been introduced, they quickly proceeded to, well, breed like rabbits. For example, a mere 24 were released in Australia in 1859 by an English farmer who thought they'd provide "a touch of home, in addition to a spot of hunting". Today, rabbits have contributed to the extinction of nearly an eighth of Australia's mammal species, ruined the country's soil and caused millions of dollars annually in agricultural damage. Australians did try to eradicate their rabbit population in 1950 by introducing the Myxoma virus to their mainland. A biological control agent, this virus causes Myxomatosis, a disease fatal in nearly every rabbit that contracts it. Five hundred million rabbits died, but the 100 million that remained developed a resistance to the disease. And now, the bunnies' numbers are again on the rise.
2. European Starlings
A noisy, aggressive bird, the European starling has been introduced into almost every corner of the world, generally because of its good looks. In the U.S., this introduction took place in about 1890, when Shakespeare lovers released 100 European starlings into Central Park so that North America would be home to every bird mentioned in the Bard's plays. Now, more than 200 million European starlings call the continent home. In addition to their comely looks - which include glossy black feathers sprinkled with iridescent green and purple flecks - starlings are omnivores, and congregate in flocks of up to 1 million or more. These massive hordes devastate agricultural lands, and especially love to eat grapes, olives, cherries and grains. The birds will even settle over a field when crops are just beginning to poke their heads above ground, plucking up the tender, young plants to feast on the seeds. Starlings also chase out local bird species as they compete for food and nesting grounds, and can harm livestock and poultry facilities by swooping in to gobble up the food in feed troughs, contaminating the livestock's food and water as they eat. Their sizeable flocks are also believed to have caused a number of deadly crashes by colliding with planes. Some people defend European starlings, as they do eat a lot of insects - which is why certain countries, such as New Zealand, introduced them to their homeland in the first place. But most feel the damage the birds do far outstrips the benefits of their bug-eating.
1. Cane Toads
Another creature many countries eagerly introduced to their homelands is the cane toad, a native of Venezuela and Guyana. Like the European starlings, cane toads chow down on a lot of insects that can ruin sugarcane and other valuable crops. But these gigantic amphibians - which can grow up to 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) long - will eat almost any terrestrial animal, and fight with native amphibians for food and breeding grounds. Even worse, cane toads excrete a strong toxin from their skin that can sicken or kill domestic animals and wildlife, and even humans. People have died from eating the toads and their eggs, too. Cane toads are especially problematic in the U.S. and Australia. In the latter country, some feel eradication is impossible because the toads' numbers are so great. One Queensland researcher is working on developing a strain of cane toad that can only give birth to males, ensuring the creatures' eventual demise, once the genetically engineered toads mate with regular ones. However, only time will tell whether the cane toad or man is more resourceful - and if we've finally learned our lesson about introducing non-native species into our homelands.
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