Re: NANFA-- Devils advocate concerning release of exotics.

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 19 Dec 2002 09:13:58 -0800

>So I guess if humans destroy this small sturgeons habitat that's just the way
>it's supposed to be and trying to save it is a waste of time?

Michael, that's not it. The discussion here is the notion that there are
unused niches, or even that there are a finite number of definable niches.
Niches are defined by individual species and not the environment. For that
reason they can't be management tools. Science does a reasonable job of
trying to identify the concept of a niche, but there's not even one plant
or animal that has a niche that can be completely defined. For example,
part of a species' niche is its biological interactions-- prey, predators
and competitors-- and how can that be described or quantified? Taking the
concept of a niche to the next step-- that a given area has x number of
potential or unfilled niches, and that individual species are plug-and-play
management units outside of the system where they evolved-- has had
disastrous results again and again.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
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