Scientific American: Can We Really Eat Invasive Species into Submission?

A central debate in the young field of invasion ecology in US is whether human hunger will help control the spread of invasive species or will the rules of capitalism, combined with our unquenchable thirst for more, only make matters worse?

The worst-case scenario of invasivorism is not that it won’t work, rather it will make a troublesome species popular. 

Scientific American weighs the pros and cons of introducing–and removing–invasive species from ecology. The outlet interviewed Martin Nuñez, a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who has published several papers warning of perverse incentives to distribute economically valuable species more widely.

“If you make money off a species,” Nuñez says, “then that’s an incentive to help it spread.” Consumption is one of the most powerful incentives of all. Even advocates of invasivorism like Roman and Barnes raise the same concern.