Species Invasion: Coming June 2010
Global airlines be forewarned: June 2010 could be a busy month for invasive plants, insects, and animals seeking free rides to distant lands
| Wed Feb. 25, 2009 10:04 PM EST
Why? Because that's when temperature, humidity, and rainfall are likely to converge at many distant airports. In other words, when it's hot and humid in Miami it's also likely to be hot and humid in Shanghai. Species hitching a ride at one airport will more easily survive in the other. Add to that climate synergy the increasing traffic from India and China and we're likely to have an invasive species bloom in June 2010. Including whatever diseases the invaders are carrying... So what can we do? For a start:
- Ramp up inspection activities at airports during the 6/10 time frame. And all other time frames.
- Redirect at least some of the war on drugs to defending against biological invasions. Seriously, can't we put sniffer dogs and their handlers to better use?
- Feed us in the air. Agricultural pests are invading on the foodstuffs individual travelers carry because the airlines no longer feed us. (Sometimes saving money is unbelievably costly.)
- Consider your next flight… you know, along with the CO2 footprint... factor in the your potential as the vector of a new invasion. Is the trip worth it?