Peacocks! Squirrels! The dangers of introducing non-native species.

Once upon a time there was this peacock who came to Buddhaland…becoming a tourist attraction but wrecking havoc on the local ecosystem.

After studying about food webs, ecological balance, and invasive species, my students made a film about what happens when peacocks are introduced to Northern California.

During our last week of the AP Environmental Science class at the Developing Virtue High School (City of Ten Thousand Buddhas), we dreamed up a two minute tale – original chalk drawings!! great sound effects!!– and brought it to life.

Invasive species are now among the top three threats to biological diversity (the other two are climate change and habitat destruction). Just because we think a fish, a bird, or a plant is pretty doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to bring it home with us – many introduced species become invasive when they compete with natives for food, water, and shelter.

Do your part by learning the difference between native species (living beings who evolved and adapted to a specific place) and non-native species (beings who were introduced to a new location, and did not evolve to live harmoniously with the existing residents). Be respectful of wild species and wild places, and help keep our planet in balance.




2 thoughts on “Peacocks! Squirrels! The dangers of introducing non-native species.

  1. I know from frist hand experience how destructive and invasive peacocks can be. When I was working at Veggielution I would have to deal with peacocks almost every single day. The peacocks would come to the back of the farm because visitors would chase them. They would eat our vegetables, destroys protective barriers, and poop on everything!! They might be beautiful but they do not belong on this farm. The farms recently had to deal with a squirrel invasion and I wonder if these peacocks ate the snakes? I thought peacocks were herbivores but it seems like they would eat anything if it wasn’t secured down.

    1. Yes, peacocks *preferentially* eat snakes – that’s why they were kept on properties in India, to guard against cobras. This is why the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is now over-run with ground squirrels: their natural predators have been killed off by the peacocks.

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