General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Are there any foreign species that have been introduced to the wild successfully?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10839points) June 25th, 2011

I have always heard of introduced species wreaking havoc.

But there are so many beautiful creatures living around the world! It would be nice if some of them could be introduced to a new area without major incident.

Is that possible? Are there any examples of this?

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19 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Don’t know if there were initially any problems, but dandelions and plantain were brought over to North America by Europeans, and are now naturalized exotics in most places on the continent.

jaytkay's avatar

Horses in the US?

Ltryptophan's avatar

@trickface that list seems to be of problem species mostly or entirely, but great find. @jaytkay I think you’re on to something.

trickface's avatar

@jaytkay yes! the spanish imports. The thought of thousands of horses spread across an empty america is a pleasant one. Human population was sparse during that introduction, right? And did they allow the horses to roam freely across all the land?

I wonder how that was organised…

incendiary_dan's avatar

@trickface Pretty sure they escaped. And yes, many areas were sparsely populated after disease killed off many indigenous peoples.

incendiary_dan's avatar

One of my favorite wild edibles is the autumn olive (eleagnus umbellata), which is supposedly invasive. However, I haven’t heard anyone clearly tell me what natives it pushes out, and for the most part it seems to thrive mainly in areas that were completely demolished, like sand dunes. I suspect that it is in fact good for many ecosystems, since it’s a nitrogen fixing perennial that builds little oasises of life in dead areas.

creative1's avatar

Haven’t you heard about the problem they are having because so many years ago they brought over the american grey squirrel to England and their native squirrel is being killed off because the eastern grey carry a disease the red isn’t able to fight off. They have now waged a war against the eastern greys.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@creative1 Plus, the grey squirrel is bigger and more belligerent than the smaller reds. They often outcompete them.

Nullo's avatar

I read once that Washington D.C. received a number of cherry trees from Japan at one point.

Coloma's avatar

Many common bird species are already introduced from Europe to America.
English House Sparrows, Starlings, and the Everglades are under siege by released Burmese Pythons gobbling up endangered water birds. I live next door to Nevada where there are plenty of wild horses, decendents of the old Spanish mustangs and other breeds gone feral.Burros too. Maybe Europe needs some Mustangs and Burros and, plenty of Coyotes and Mountain Lions in my zone too…come and get ‘em.

Oh, and I have gazillions of Alligator lizards too…free lizards for all! ;-)

lillycoyote's avatar

You’re talking about species being introduced into the _wild”, right? There are small pockets of herds of wild horses in the U.S. but horses weren’t introduced into the wild. They were and are domesticated animals. Horses were too valuable. And tomatoes weren’t introduced into the wild either, I don’t believe. And how are you defining “successfuly?” You mean, the populations were successful in surviving and adapting and being fruitful and multiplying or that they were introduced in the wild in a way that didn’t crowd out natives species, that both species were able to coexist?

krrazypassions's avatar

“I have always heard of introduced species wreaking havoc”- True..look at humans.
“Are there any foreign species that have been introduced to the wild successfully?”- Humans again, and no success- since the wild itself remained no more where humans were.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@krrazypassions Humans lived for over 90% of our history in the wild, and fairly well adapted/naturalized to just about every climate on the planet. It’s only been in the past 10,000 years or so that any groups of humans have been “invasive”. And there are some examples of human groups going feral and re-adapting to the wild (I hope to create one such example).

krrazypassions's avatar

@incendiary_dan Interesting..
“It’s only been past 10000 years or so that any groups of humans have been ‘invasive’ ”
Its strange that its also been about 10000 years ago that ‘sun-gods’ visited the Earth (according to the scriptures- of Egyptians, Chinese etc) and Pyramids were built in various places in the world… makes me wonder if there indeed was an alien hand in our progress…

incendiary_dan's avatar

@krrazypassions Having gone to school for anthropology, I tend to take the anthropological route. My guess and best observation is that empire, monocrop agriculture, patriarchy, and hierarchal religions (which often feature father-figure sky gods) coincide more or less at the same time historically. They all seem to feed back into one another and support/reinforce one another. Which came first I still have no idea, but I occasionally make guesses.

As I’m getting far beyond the scope of the question and this is the General section, I’ll leave it at that.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The ringneck pheasant was successfully introduced to the North American continent in 1881 from China.

mattbrowne's avatar

Hawaii is full of them.

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