Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Agencies will collaborate to control outside species

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cabinet agencies have launched a mechanism in order to more effectively limit losses resulting from introduced species, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday.

The council's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said yesterday that the nation's ecological systems have been jeopardized by 10 introduced species including the Polynesian rat (緬甸小鼠), pinewood nematode (松材線蟲), psylla chinensis (中國梨木蝨), cycad aulacaspis scale (蘇鐵白輪盾介殼蟲), red fire ant (入侵紅火蟻), apple snail (福壽螺), golden mussel (河殼菜蛤), water hyacinth (布袋蓮), American rope (小花蔓澤蘭) and many-lined sun skink (多線南蜥).

Yeh Ying (葉瑩), the bureau's deputy director general, said that most of the introduced species had been effectively dealt with by the government but that some were somewhat out of control.

"So now we need to make greater efforts to stop illegal importation of foreign species and educate the nation," Yeh said.

Yeh said that the government would study a list of the world's top 100 most dangerous alien species, as chosen by the World Conservation Union, in order to prevent possible disasters resulting from biological invasions.

Officials said that deliberate introductions of foreign species would be carefully controlled in order to avoid possible ecological catastrophes. Last month, the bureau announced that at least NT$150 million (US$4.55 million) would be spent this year to protect local flora.

Agricultural officials in Changhua County said yesterday that red fire ants had spread out over an area of 498 km2, including fields, vegetable gardens and even on shade trees.

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