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Action group to combat intrusive exotic species

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - The animal and plant world in the Netherlands (other parts of the world, including Canada and the USA share the same type of problem) face a significant threat from exotic species. There are about 100 kinds which are causing serious damage, but many others are less intrusive. The total number of ‘foreign invaders’ has been estimated to be around 1,000. For example, the Chinese mitten crab devours everything in its path and is a serious threat to other species, while the Asian tiger mosquito is a cause of hay fever. Among the waterplants are foreign varieties, which totally clog Dutch drainage canals, putting biodiversity at risk. Dutch authorities only seem to spring into action, the recently formed Platform Stop Invasieve Exoten, observes, when public health or agriculture is being imminently threatened. The group is surprised by the lack of concern displayed by, among others, Greenpeace, Wereld Natuur Fonds, Stichting Natuur en Milieu and Milieudefensie.