Another human intervention for the survival of unfit species

I believe the entire thrust of “conservationism” in protecting unfit species and sanctioning successful species is fundamentally unsound. It is the survival of the unfit. It is no sustainable way to proceed. If humans are to intervene then it should be in the genetic adaptation of  a weak species to help that species to survive in the long term and not in “protecting” the habitat of the weak species by eradicating successful species so that the weak species continues in a state of being unfit for survival.

And now the very successful brown rats on the Isles of Scilly are to be culled in favour of sea birds that they threaten. Rather than kill the rats and perpetuate the sea birds in their unfit state, surely we ought to be adapting the sea birds to be able to survive in the new environment they live in.

Johnny Birks, chair of the Mammal Society, said: “Brown rats are not native to Britain… it’s our own fault they are so widespread and that makes it right for us to repair the damage we’ve caused.”

He added that the eradication could benefit the Scilly shrew and other species found on the islands, but it was key that the rats did not reinvade.

A convoluted – and rather sick – argument if ever there was one. To just remove the competitive pressures that the weak species is subject to is to try and prevent evolution. It may work in the short term but provides no long term future for the weak species. In fact it prevents them from responding to evolutionary pressures. The rats have taken advantage of the new environment created by humans and have thrived. The sea birds and other species have failed to do that. The paradigm cannot be  “Kill all immigrants” to freeze the unfit native species in their untenable positions. If the answer is to limit the successful species then the present thrust of “conservationism” leads logically – and inevitably – to the culling of humans as the preferred solution.

The weak have a guaranteed place in heaven anyway. Either help them to change or let them die out. But don’t lock them into the unfit state they find themselves in.

BBC

A project aimed at protecting internationally important seabird populations on two of the Isles of Scilly by killing more than 3,000 brown rats, is under way.

The islands, which are located off Cornwall, are home to breeding populations of 14 seabird species and approximately 20,000 birds.

Eradication experts from New Zealand and the UK have been contracted to carry out the work.

“Among many challenges our seabirds face, the greatest threat on land is predation of eggs and chicks by brown rats,” said Jaclyn Pearson from the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project.

“The brown rats were accidently introduced to islands from shipwrecks in the 18th Century,” she added.

The project is part of a 25-year programme to protect “internationally important” seabird numbers, including those of Manx shearwaters and storm petrels, and is costing more than £755,000.

The rodents will be poisoned on St Agnes and Gugh by Wildlife Management International Limited (WMIL).

The company has helped eradicate rats from Ramsey Island off Wales, Lundy Island off Devon and the Isle of Canna in the Scottish Hebrides.

Elizabeth Bell, from WMIL said: “A period of intensive baiting will start from the 8 November and most of the rats will be dead by the end of November. We’ll then target the surviving rats.”

A long-term monitoring programme will start at the beginning of 2014 to check the rodents have been eradicated from the islands.

Ms Bell said all the bait stations were enclosed, tied down and were designed not to kill any other species, such as rabbits. ……

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