A1.3.4 Continued…


Invasive Species

There are species of plants and animals in the world that do no harm in their own environment, but once free to spread, they become invasive.

Plants such as Japanese Knotweed spread rapidly, denying any other plants the chance to live in their midst. The plant is unsuitable for nesting and does not seem to support wildlife in the way native plant life will. In England it is illegal to spread Japanese Knotweed (under the Wildlife and Countryside Act). Interestingly, it appears to do no harm in its native Japan.

A1.3.4 knotweed


Unfortunately some animals are on the brink of extinction because for some reason humans think they are more valuable as ‘parts’. Ivory, Rhino horn, whale blubber, shark fins, tiger skin and bones are all prime examples.

The exotic pet trade is still alive and well across the globe. Retiles, birds and monkeys are still captured from the wild and sold as pets. Often the parent is killed in order for the poachers to obtain the infant. To make matter worse, many die in transit and so many more are captured than sold.

Global Warming

As the temperature of the globe changes, so does the distribution of species. In some areas this will mean that species move to an area that is suitable for them. There is evidence of flying insects, birds and plants in areas we would previously not have expected to see them. For example, there is a colony of scorpions in Kent (they are a harmless variety!).

However, some species will not have this luxury. Polar Bears live in ice and snow. As the polar ice caps melt the area they inhabit shrinks. Any species with specific needs will be limited in its ability to cope.