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Native or feral?

Hairyman

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Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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A thought provoking article, but I’m not sure that it has any solutions.

“Plants and animals establishing naturally in new areas would have native status. New 'managed relocation' populations would have native status if they could have got to the new location naturally.”

... is that establishing “naturally” after having seed carried in a wallabies fur, or after hitching a ride on a caravan’s wheel arch ?

Livistona is a case in point ! (Second article) I’ll never look at Livistona with any respect again !

(Great articles by the way - Thanks)
 

Hairyman

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I suppose thats the point, to stimulate thinking, that what is a native and what is a feral isnt clearcut.
To oversimplify and call anything here before Cook a native is far from correct as it may have been manuported from the
other side of the continent in the last 50000 or 200 years.
To look at plants and animals that have arrived after Cook as feral and to be looked down upon as unworthy is sus too,
that definition should include 23 odd million people.
Many post Cook arrivals are here to stay and have already started the genetic selection process to be better Australians.

The almost totally prohibited use of anything 'native' is sus too IMHO.
 

Bartnmax

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Yeah I think it depends a lot on one's definition, & that's bound to change with each persons views.
I also don't see everything introduced as necessarilly being 'feral'.
'Feral' to me generally indicates a certain level of the pest element in an introduced species.
Some introduced species are not necessarilly seen as 'pests', ie deer, pheasants, etc.
They are generally viewed as 'introduced game'.
As to the introduction of species, first you need to define the time line for introduction & also the means of introduction (by whom???).
F'rinstance, many species of both animal & plant may have been 'inroduced' many thousands of years ago, but they are now generally viewed as 'native'.
I tend to look at it from the perspective of the inroduction of modern European humans into Australia.
Ie, everything pre-Cook could be seen as 'native', whilst everything post-Cook could be viewed as 'introduced'.
Within the 'introduced' catagory we would then have 'feral' & other (game, etc).
I would not see anything pre-Cook (Ie 'native') as being a pest species as a pest is generally viewed as an invasive introduced species.
As 'natives' are generally not being 'invasive' they therefore would not be viewed as 'pests'.

So, generally I would view an invasive pest species intorduced post-Cook as being 'feral', but a non-invasive species may be looked upon as introduced game, etc. May just be an over-simplification I use but it works for me.

bill.
 

Dusty Miller

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Whacking out introduced "feral" plants can have detrimental effects on wildlife too. The local declared weed african boxthorn is jam pack full of nesting small finches and wrens. Almost every introduced weed I have seen is crawling with life, mostly native and a few biological control agents on some. Most of the really sucessful weeds are eaten by birds, and the seed is transported and "dropped" elsewhere.

Life isn't meant to be a snapshot of the 1770's, frozen in time like a stuffed museum exhibit. it is constantly changing, waxing and waning. Most of what has ever lived is extinct. Life is also almost impossible to contain, so the genie is well and truly out of the bottle, and those native australians that have adapted to new players in the ecosystem are going to be disadvantaged when the next spraying program comes through.

Tim Lowe has a book "Feral future" that raises some of these topics.

Simple solutions are rare.
 

Aussie123

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Part of the article's intention is (I think) to point out that there isn't a consistent definition.

We all use these terms and assume that everyone understands what we mean, but that's not necessarily the case !
 
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