Iron Curtain protected Eastern Europe from alien birds
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 05, 2009, 12:11
  
Zeenews Bureau

Berlin: Scientists have credited Europe’s Iron Curtain, which divided the continent for as many as 46 years, for protecting Eastern Europe’s wildlife from alien birds.

According to reports published in the international media, invasive bird species introduced by people could not colonise Eastern Europe mainly because of the restrictions on people’s movement and trade into Eastern bloc countries.

A report published in the Biological Conservation journal stated during the time the wall stood, people living in Eastern Europe introduced very few game bird species for hunting. However, during these 46 years people in Western Europe introduced parrots, weavers and other exotic and alien bird species.

"We obviously do not want to go back to the Iron Curtain days. However, there are some important policy lessons," Salit Kark, a researcher at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in comments broadcast on the BBC.

Invasive species remain a significant threat to biodiversity, Kark added.

Alien bird species including the rose-ringed parakeet from India and the monk parakeet from South America have colonised themselves in Western Europe since being introduced, and the authorities in European countries have realised the urgency to work together on wildlife policy decisions, Kark said.

"The timing is urgent and countries need to start enacting policies soon," the researcher added.

The Iron Curtain, comprising government-built walls and fences, divided Europe from the end of World War II in 1945 until 1991.


First Published: Saturday, December 05, 2009, 12:11


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