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Copyright © 2003 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance.

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Gundel, P. E. 2003. Examples help demonstrate the mechanisms underlying the development of solutions. Conservation Ecology 7(1): r1. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol7/iss1/resp1/

Response to Perrings et al. 2002. "Biological invasion risks and the public good: an economic perspective"

Examples Help Demonstrate the Mechanisms Underlying the Development of Solutions

Pedro E. Gundel

Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires e IFEVA

In agreement with Perrings et al. (2002), who say that the problem of invasive alien species is primarily economic and, as such, requires economic solutions, I offer the following example of an invasive species that could only be controlled once it became a natural resource of economic value. The European hare (Lepus europeaus) was introduced to Argentina in 1888 for the purpose of sport hunting (Cabrera 1958 sensu Parisi et al. 1991). A mere 19 years later, it was declared a national plague (Parisi et al. 1991) because of the damage it caused to agriculture (Quintanilla et al. 1973). Initially, eradication efforts and control programs carried out by the National Government failed.

However, in 1930, people began exporting hare leathers to Europe, and then, in 1950, meat too. This export trade sparked a demand for commercial hunting (González Ruíz 1994) and, thus, was the hare population brought under control. Economic profit derived from hare hunting has proved to be the most effective mechanism for maintaining hare populations at densities compatible with farm production (Cossani et al. 2001).

Most invasions of alien species occur in complex social systems (with ecological, cultural, and social-economic elements), making it necessary to find self-sustainable mechanisms to reach to a solution. Examples, although they may only be applicable to the analyzed case, help us understand the mechanisms underlying the development of solutions. Nevertheless, the statement that invasions are only an economic problem appears to hold.

Published: February 11, 2003


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Cossani, M., A. Gaetano, H. Ghiglione, P. E. Gundel, E. Krumpholz, R. Micheloud, R. J. Perea, A. Schifman, P. M. Tognetti, N. Trillo, and G. Mozeris. 2001. Cadena Agroalimentaria de la Carne de Liebre en Argentina. Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

González Ruiz, E. 1994. La Industria Frigorífica Argentina exportadora de liebres. Cámara Argentina de Productores y Procesadores de Productos de la Fauna Silvestre y sus Derivados.

Parisi, R. G., I. Re, M. Albouy, and A. Vilches. 1991. Estudio poblacional de la liebre europea (Lepus europaeus, Pallas, 1778). Departamento de Fauna Silvestre, Ministerio de Asuntos Agrarios y Pesca, Subsecretaría de Producciones Intensivas, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Perrings, C., M. Williamson, E. B. Barbier, D. Delfino, S. Dalmazzone, J. Shogren, P. Simmons, and A. Watkinson. 2002. Biological invasion risks and the public good: an economic perspective. Conservation Ecology 6(1): 1. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/Journal/vol6/iss1/art1

Quintanilla, R. H., H. F. Rizzo, and C. O. Fraga. 1973. Reodores perjudiciales para el agro en la República Argentina. EUDEBA/LECTORES.

Address of Correspondent:
Pedro E. Gundel
Av. San Martín 4453 (1417),
Capital Federal
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: 5411-45248070

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