Biology/Ecology the Global Ecological Problem Term Paper

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Transportation - Environmental Issues
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #67740002
  • Related Topics: Ecology, Aliens, Human Ecology, Snakes

Excerpt from Term Paper :

While imported species can be controlled to a degree by Governmental regulation, unintentional imports are a different matter. Garth mentions the example of the brown tree snake that stowed away on ships and military equipment during World War II. During this time, obviously, there was not as much awareness of the invasive species problem as there is today. Basically therefore the current era is faced with a problem unintentionally created decades ago.

Another case of unintentional transport that I found particularly interesting in the article is the movement from port to port of ballast water. Ships take on water for balancing purposes. The water is transported to the destination port and discarded. The cycle is repeated from port to port. The aquatic life in this ballast water is then also transported between the ports. As a solution to this, one of the suggestions mentioned in the article is that ships exchange their ballast water outside of ports.

However, I am not sure how such a strategy would mitigate the problem. Surely local aquatic life is not limited to the boundaries of ports. Wherever ballast water is taken, if it is transported a significant distance, it necessarily transports local aquatic organisms significant distances across the globe. I therefore believe that the suggested strategy, even when widely implemented, is unlikely to make much difference.

Another striking element of the article is the focus on interconnectedness. At the end of her article, McGrath states that significant and global political interaction will be needed to make a significant difference to the problem of invasives. For me, this indicates a parallel between human and ecological interaction.

In the ecology, the article makes it abundantly clear that everything in an environment affects everything else. An imported snake that is not particular about its diet and without natural enemies, for example, erode the food sources for other species in the area. This threatens diversity survival and poses a threat to the nature of the specific local ecology. In the same way, human beings interact either for the benefit or to the detriment of not only the parties involved, but also to the environment surrounding them.

A very striking example of this sort of interaction is the case of the argument between Monaco and France regarding an invasive seaweed. The argument regarding who was responsible for the initially small growth of the weed took up so much time that it grew out of all proportion. It is now a serious threat to the rest of the sea life in the area.

While the interconnection and working together of diverse governments in order to save the environment is a very laudable ideal, perhaps human nature should be addressed first. Greed for example is an element that keeps the exotic species trade running. Not even the political parties within a single country can agree on serious issues such as terrorism. If this is taken into account, surely global leaders would find it all the more impossible to work together on environmentalism if they can engage in petty, years-long disputes over who dumped what where. Perhaps the predominantly glum tone of the article is justified, if the above is taken into account.

McGrath does incorporate a glimmer of hope, which ironically stems from the turbulent current political times. She suggests that the fight against terrorism be used to support the fight against biological invasives as well. In this way, a decidedly negative political issue is used to make positive progress in the environment.

In conclusion, I find Ms. McGrath's article very enlightening in addressing the extent of the problem. I do believe that there are strategies that can help control the invasion problem, but as McGrath states, this will require a level of cooperation that at the moment appears unlikely.


McGrath, Susan. (2005, March). "Attack of the Alien Invaders." National…

Sources Used in Document:


McGrath, Susan. (2005, March). "Attack of the Alien Invaders." National Geographic

Cite This Term Paper:

"Biology Ecology The Global Ecological Problem" (2007, January 05) Retrieved May 26, 2020, from

"Biology Ecology The Global Ecological Problem" 05 January 2007. Web.26 May. 2020. <>

"Biology Ecology The Global Ecological Problem", 05 January 2007, Accessed.26 May. 2020,