Monday, December 03, 2007
Deep-Sea News reports that my cousins the Giant Australian Cuttlefish may be in serious trouble. It seems they had the lack of foresight to evolve in an area where featherless bipeds would eventually discover uranium, copper, and gold. As of this writing, the link to the original Australian source is down, so you will have to settle for the condensed version on DSN.
Australia is evidence: memories don't last--
They ought to have learned from mistakes in the past;
The hull of a ship carries passengers, too
(Ask any whose job is to clean off that goo--
Green algae, and seaweeds, and mussels and such
Which can kill off the locals--it doesn't take much).
This plan should be dropped like a really bad habit,
If Aussies have learned from the tale of the rabbit;
There's a reason, you see, for the rabbit-proof fence:
Once you bring bunnies hither, you can't send them hence.
They devastate flora, and quickly outbreed
Their marsupial neighbors--a problem indeed.
Or look to the waters at Port Philip Bay
Where another invasive is living today;
The Northern Pacific Sea Star is its name
At that bay, there's a full hundred million to blame
For destroying the natives, both mollusks and corals--
When species collide, we get more than mere quarrels.
From foxes and cats, who are powerful killers,
To carp and salvinia, waterway-fillers,
From cane toads to mynas, to red fire ants,
Once here it's too late, so you can't miss your chance.
These cuttlefish giants are beautiful creatures
(Just look at the picture! What beautiful features!)
I hope that Port Bonython learns from the past
And decides that they want their Australia to last;
Ecosystems are fragile--we know they can break;
I'm begging you--please don't repeat your mistake.
(Now, go to this page, download Michael McRae's delightful illustrations, and use them when reading my verse to children.)
Photo from The Cephalopod Page... which I also cannot get to link. Bad day for linkage...
...and special thanks to Pod, of Podblack Blog