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Journal for Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

Before our first overnight, we decided that we wanted to both learn about and take action in regards to the problem of invasive, non-native species in Boulder County.  After some research, we learned that the New Zealand Mud Snail, an invasive aquatic species which has already disrupted ecosystems in major rivers throughout the Western United States, has recently been found in Boulder Creek.  Currently there are only two other sections of rivers in Colorado that have Mud Snail invasion. 

I’d like you to discuss, based on our brief research period, which aspects of this issue are most compelling.  In other words, if you were talking to a stranger, a friend or a family member, which pieces of information would you use to get them interested and impassioned in the problem of the Mud Snail?  Think of which information you found to be unique and interesting; do you think other people would find those facts interesting?  Be sure to identify which information you think is most compelling and provide reasoning as to why it is. 

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5 Responses to “Journal for Friday, Dec. 1, 2006”

  1. carlton

    well I think I’d use the example we talked about in class on Friday. I’d talk about the food chain, and explain that a keystone species (a key link in the food chain) like trout is very important for the natural ecosystem. I’d also explain how the algae is being rabidly consumed and competed for between the may fly and the (invasive species) mud snail and that if the may fly don’t get enough and die, it’s very likely that trout will fall in number. In turn, many predators such as birds of prey, racoons, bears,and even mountain lions will starve. This will cause a huge increase in the population of creatures like rabbits and rodents, because there are not enough predators to keep the numbers in balance. Or, this could cause a decrease because of too many hungry predators. This may also increase the number of attacks on humans, because when BIG predators like bears and cougars are very hungry they can attack anything they can get their jaws on and humans are usually easy targets, and they may even have young to care for making it even more desperate.

    see how I whent from talking plain old may flys to the eating habits of mountian lions remove on chain from the food chain and you could send the whole natural eco system into chaos. id would explain that and more like how the mud snail can clone itself and is easly spread. all in all id hope that who ever I was explaining this to would look past the fact that the mud snail is 1/4 the size of a penny and relise that this is actually quite a big issue.

  2. Nathan Ober

    I think the most compelling thing that I have learned about the mud snail so far is that they are A-sexual. That said, one snail can start entire colonies. This made me to believe that our action project should be one that is not tangible, because if we tried to get rid of all the mud snails and one survived then their entire species would go on.

  3. robert the great

    First of all, the mud snail is a very dangerous creature when it is released into an environment that it is not familiar with. It can multiply without a mate, it can survive for days outside of water, it can also withstand many extreme temperatures without dying. The mud snail is hurting our local rivers because it is depleting the algae, which so many animals need to survive. we need to tackle this problem before it gets out of hand. I think that our first step would be to get the word out to local fishermen and anglers because the mud snail can latch onto their boots, and travel with them wherever they go. Second, we should make posters and fliers to inform the public. Signs by hiking tails and riversides would be a great first step. I doubt we will make a difference with just the 10 of us, but if we inform the public so they can take matters into their own hands I believe all of us can make the change that we want to see.

  4. Zak Maytum

    Over the last few days I have really come to know a lot about the New Zeland Mud Snail. The most compelling thing I learned was how this little tiny thing could completely upset the entire ecosystem and throw several populations out of their normal numbers. The second most intersting thing I learned was that it is amazingly easy to spread these little killers to other rivers without even knowing you were doing it. Those two things are what I would tell a stranger because I think they are the most compelling facts.

  5. cass

    well probably the fact that they are A sexual so they multiply like crazy by them selves. and the fact that they take all the nutrients and algae out of the water and rocks, so then fish do not have any food, so they will all die if we do not fix this problem.


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