29 March 2014
Invasive species as a whole have become a nuisance to many habitats and ecosystems around the world. What defines an invasive species is the following. It must be a species that is foreign to the habitat it resides in, have no natural predators which allow it to reproduce in such a rapid manner, and out compete native animals of food and shelter (Rosenthal 2011). These characteristics are what create such high populations of these invasive species in various habitats around the globe.
A species in particular that I have researched is the red fox or Vulpes vulpes as it is known in the scientific community. The animal is native to North America, Asia and Europe where they thrive in habitats ranging from temperate deserts to boreal forests, but its range spans the entire globe (Tesky 1995). The red fox is omnivorous which means that it feeds on animals and plants equally, which, creates impacts on both types of populations within its habitat. What makes the red fox invasive is its introduction to Australia and Eastern parts of the United States, as a result of migration of Europeans to the new territories they were colonizing (Kamler 2010). The times of these introductions varies from the 1700’s in the eastern United States and the mid 1800’s in Australia (CAB International 2011).
The red fox has had a negative effect on Australian wildlife. One major effect that the red fox has brought forth is the near extinction of many Australian marsupial and rodent species native to the region (Kamler 2011). V.vulpes also affects many ground level nesting avian species and tortoises due to their lack of ability to avoid encounters with the red fox (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2001). The invasiveness of the red fox within the Australian habitat is due to the lack of predators that are present (Millen 2006). The only such predator of the red fox is the native Australian dingo, an indigenous...