BUENOS AIRES - Some 350 exotic species introduced
into Argentina's ecosystems at different times are
causing serious changes to the environment, warns
the local affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
problem involves animals such as beavers, starlings,
fish species like the carp, and also plants, such
as the black acacia, originating from North America.
These are all species that reproduce rapidly and jeopardize
the development of Argentina's native flora and fauna.
prohibits the introduction of species into Argentine
territory, but it is difficult to prevent, given the
country's extensive borders, and the challenges of
containing those that have already arrived as they
continue to grow, says the 'Fundación Vida Silvestre.'
Wetlands Winning Protection
BOGOTA - Colombia's Environment
Ministry presented a work plan for this year geared
towards protecting wetlands, bodies of water and marshes
that cover 712,216 hectares of the country's territory.
The program, financed by the
Inter-American Development Bank, the government Environmental
Investment Fund and World Wildlife Fund, has a budget
of some 400,000 dollars.
Wetlands are bodies of fresh,
brackish or salt water, of natural or artificial origins,
and are considered the world's most productive ecosystems.
MEXICO CITY - For decades, the
monarch butterfly has been faced with the progressive
destruction of the forests in Mexico that serve as
its wintering and mating grounds, but now it confronts
a fatal threat: loggers have begun spraying pesticides.
Thousands of monarch butterflies
were found dead in the reserves designated for them
in Michoacán state, poisoned by insecticides, denounced
writer Homero Aridjis, leader of the Group of 100,
an environmental group here.
''It was a sickening aggression,
such a thing had never occurred before,'' he told
The Federal Prosecutor's Office
for Environmental Protection considered that the most
likely cause was an untimely frost. ''Perhaps the
Prosecutor's Office is taking about a previous case,
but there is no doubt that the latest killing was
from pesticides,'' Aridjis responded.
Monarchs are famous for their
yearly arrival in Mexico after as much as a 3,000-km
trip from the forests of Canada and the United States.
They winter here, where they mature and mate.
Birds Benefit Rice Paddies
HAVANA - Herons, ducks and 'yaguasas,'
among other aquatic birds, are aiding - not damaging
- the rice paddies where they seek food, concluded
Cuban researchers, who promote the protection and
conservation of these species.
''These birds are natural agents
of biological control because they are an efficient
counterweight to pests and, contrary to popular beliefs,
they do not eat rice that has gone to seed,'' affirmed
Martín Acosta, of the University of Havana's School
In Cuba, 97 species of aquatic
birds live permanently or seasonally, of which 70
inhabit rice-growing sites and the adjacent wetlands,
which cover a total 120,000 hectares on the island.