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By Peter Coates

Occasionally accidentally and occasionally on goal, people have transported vegetation and animals to new habitats worldwide. Arriving in ever-increasing numbers to American soil, contemporary invaders have competed with, preyed on, hybridized with, and carried ailments to local species, remodeling our ecosystems and growing anxiousness between environmentalists and most people. yet is American anxiousness over this challenge of ecological identification a up to date phenomenon? Charting transferring attitudes to alien species because the 1850s, Peter Coates brings to mild the wealthy cultural and ancient elements of this tale by means of situating the background of immigrant natural world in the wider context of human immigration. via an illuminating sequence of specific invasions, together with the English sparrow and the eucalyptus tree, what he unearths is that we've got consistently perceived crops and animals when it comes to ourselves and the polities to which we belong. surroundings the saga of human family with the surroundings within the wide context of clinical, social, and cultural historical past, this thought-provoking publication demonstrates how profoundly notions of nationality and debates over race and immigration have formed American understandings of the wildlife.

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Extra resources for American Perceptions of Immigrant and Invasive Species: Strangers on the Land

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20 A clutch of comparable outWts shared this ambition to translate non-European ecosystems into their own language. Some native-born Americans also wanted to “author” ecosystems. S. Fish Commission. 22 The rest were native to the East Coast, a salutary reminder that nonnative does not necessarily mean non-American. The major material value native-born white Americans pinned on the English sparrow differed markedly from that attached to shad, catWsh, German carp, Hungarian partridge, or “English” pheasant.

Is a bird of the city, rich in city vices, expedients, and miseries. The farmer’s son who takes to drink and the East end makes a hard character. qxd 38 9/25/2006 2:57 PM Page 38 The Avian Conquest of a Continent Bolles died of pneumonia two years later (1894) at the age of thirty-seven. But others continued to think and write in the same vein about urban America and its new residents. 35 Wister, one of Theodore Roosevelt’s Harvard chums and fellow big-game hunter and conservationist, also lamented urban deterioration.

When the last pigeon died in captivity, conservationists had already begun to convert a bird hitherto notorious as the farmer’s scourge into a peerless national icon of tragic faunal loss. The other, less familiar side of this story is how the English sparrow and (to a lesser extent) the starling acquired an equally prominent symbolic status as icons of bioinvasive success. 6 Students of environmental history can readily name the last pigeon and rattle off the date and location of her death (Martha, 1914, Cincinnati Zoo).

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