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Dispatches Ep 14 Sep 20, 2017

The Fine Art of Weaponizing Critters

An invasive Hawaiian mongoose. (Courtesy of KISC)

Killer frogs! Forest-destroying moths! Bird-eating mongooses! These may sound like biblical plagues, but they're the result of bad human decisions. All too often, after an invasive species shows up in an ecosystem and wreaks havoc, our response is to import another species that will eat the first one. Then, of course, the predator turns out to be even worse for the environment. Except now, maybe, we've figured out how to do biocontrol right. And as it turns out, some of those infamous mistakes weren't so bad after all. In this story, our friends at New Hampshire Public Radio’s Outside/In reexamine the history of biocontrol to find out the truth behind the horror stories and understand why throwing hungry critters as a problem has enduring appeal.

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