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Old 07-24-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Drastic Measures: 8 Wild Ways to Combat Invasive Species

Drastic Measures: 8 Wild Ways to Combat Invasive Species
Employing everything from love potion to meat-eating ants, scientists try to stem the influx of new invasive species with some "creative" ideas
By Cassandra Willyard
June 28, 2010

Drastic Measures: 8 Wild Ways to Combat Invasive Species: Scientific American Slideshows
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Land managers have tried several strategies to get rid of the pests, including an unsuccessful state campaign in the late 1990s encouraging locals to eat the rodents (nutria jambalaya, anyone?). What has been more successful is a state program that pays trappers $5 for each nutria tail they deliver. The program brings in 300,000 to 350,000 tails each year. If trappers can sell the fur or meat, they can earn even more. But the bulk of these products go to waste because demand is so low.

So, in 2009 McCree decided to try and reestablish a market for the fur. With a grant from the BTNEP, she challenged local designers to create apparel featuring the rodent's fur. "We're not trying to promote fur so much as we're trying to utilize a wasted resource," Massimi says. The projectóRighteous Furóaims to market nutria fur as a "guilt-free" alternative to traditional fur. McCree has already held two fashion shows in New Orleans, and many of the pieces sold. Even the animal's enormous orange teeth have made it onto the runway as necklaces and earrings. "When they're attached to a nutria they're pretty hideous," Massimi says. "But when you mount them on some Balinese silver, they actually look quite nice."
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