For centuries, humans have introduced new species to new territories. Sometimes this isn’t a problem but, in other instances, the newbies compete with the locals for food, bring disease or eat too many of the natives. This causes an ecological imbalance and it’s an issue conservationists have been trying to fix. Often the solution is to kill the invasive species.
As a growing body of research shows that animals have emotions, are intelligent and experience pain, a number of people are beginning to question whether this is the right approach. If humans introduced these species, should these individuals suffer for what was ultimately our mistake?
Nicola Davis explores this dilemma with Mary Colwell, author of Curlew Moon, and asks whether there’s a more compassionate approach. Nicola also speaks to Ella Kelly from the University of Melbourne about a project using genetics to save marsupials from a poisonous (but tasty) invasive toad.