‘Where Do Camels Belong?’ explores invasive species | Science News

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‘Where Do Camels Belong?’ explores invasive species

Not all nonnative plants and animals may be guilty as charged, ecologist says

10:00am, September 20, 2014

Where Do Camels Belong?
Ken Thompson
Greystone Books, $17.95

Invasive species are the outlaws of the ecological world. They move in and muck up ecosystems, sap natural resources and muscle out respectable natives. The U.S. government spends billions of dollars each year to combat these rowdy aliens, and yet they keep on coming.

But many nonnatives get a bum rap, says Thompson, an ecologist at the University of Sheffield in England. In his engrossing book, he examines the evidence for the accusations leveled against these outsider species and finds that most don’t deserve the bad press.

More often than not, Thompson argues, invaders’ greatest crime is moving in after human activities have made ecosystems unsuitable for natives. Even the most disparaged offenders can bring

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