Friday, August 24, 2007

Released eels, frogs and turtles create environmental risks

The road to environmental harm can be paved with good intentions.

A buddhist group practicing a sacred ceremony may have unwittingly created harm. The group bought and released hundreds of eels, frogs, and turtles that were for sale in fish markets. Their goal was a spiritual one, freeing the souls of people reincarnated as animals.

The animals were released into the Passaic River in New Jersy, the freshwater body nearest to New York where the animals were purchased.

The problems begin with possible introductions of non-native species, and the likelihood that the animals were infected with bacterial or fungal pathogens during captivity and storage under very dense conditions. If non-natives or diseases become established, native ecosystems can suffer catastrophic harm.

A sad story of good intentions gone awry.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Your accompanying photo reminds me of this Flickr pool: Tiny Animals on Fingers. My favorites.