Invasive Species

November 23, 2018

Over the last few weeks, Ms. Cotter’s seventh grade science students researched different invasive species.  They learned that sometimes these species are introduced intentionally as was the case of the European Starling that was released in New York’s Central Park by a Shakespeare enthusiast in 1890.  While sometimes, invasivespecies are accidentally introduced by humans. In 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer entered the United States in wooden pallets from Asia.

Next, students were introduced to Nebraska native, Joel Sartore.  He is the founder of Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project to photograph every species in captivity.    

Sartore stated that “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity.  When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”

When Sartore was just a young boy, he read about the last Passenger pigeon named Martha who died in 1914.  He was bothered that entire species went extinct due to being overhunted and losing their habitat. He stated, “I didn’t want it to happen again.”

Presently, students are learning the reasons why different species are threatened, endangered or extinct. Students are learning that many more species are going extinct today -- 1000’s of times faster than before and that many scientists believe we are in the 6th mass extinction.  

Hopefully, like Sartore, Lexington students will continue to care about the environment and find solutions to protect and save the varied species that inhabit Earth...before it is too late.