Posted by Matt Dowell on December 13, 2002 at 21:20:07:
In Reply to: Re: "But I don't want the otters back" Seahunt posted by Steve on December 13, 2002 at 13:14:53:
Absolutely, EXOTIC rats have had disastrous effects on endemic species in various ecosystems around the globe. The history of introduced/exotic species is rife with ecological havoc, e.g., pigs, North American bullfrog, Nile perch to name only a few off a very long list. Sea otters are not exotic. They are/were keystone species, and a hallmark of a healthy ecosystem is its ability to support populations of high level consumers and/or keystone species. So, I say if an area has a healthy population of sea otters, but seems to "lack" of invertebrate abundance, then perhaps that is the way that the area should be. I do not dispute the fact that they have high caloric needs and consume a relatively large amount of food. What I'm saying is that they are an integral part of a balanced system. Maybe we are arguing semantics and it is merely an issue of differing perspectives. What seahunt considers destructive, I call vital. If that is the case, we'll go round and round on this issue, so I'll leave it at this.
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