Ranked according to a complex system based on cuteness, novelty value and overall destructiveness, plus chaos theory, ie, the order in which we thought of them.
Now, No Award is very fond of cats — well, Liz loves her cat a lot, even though he has put three people in hospital so far. But ecologically speaking, they’re bad news. ABC Fact Check says it’s impossible to verify the number of native species killed by cats, but it’s a lot.
(Note: that link includes a picture of the contents of a feral cat’s stomach, and said feral cat post-stomach-removal. Guys, no.)
Be a responsible cat owner: get your moggy neutered and keep it inside.
(Liz wishes to point out that Harvey has never killed a single bird, on account of how he’s actually pretty scared of them. He has, however, caught two mice. We hope they were just common housemice.)
- North Pacific seastar
By far the prettiest invasive species around. Yes, it has spread itself throughout the oceans of the world, consuming resources needed by native species, but come on. Aesthetically, it’s totally worth it, right?
Also, if you cut off one its limbs, it will regenerate. Into a white British dude, probably.
ETA: You can participate in some getting-rid of sea star activities from St Kilda Pier once a month with Earthcare St Kilda.
- Asparagus fern
Fact! If you “accidentally” plant one, it will smother everything you love! it is officially known as a “dense infestation”, and that’s a call for respect.Its main hobbies are smothering native plants, performing as a foliage world-wide in cut flower bunches, and being illegal in many areas of Australia.
Like white people, they invaded Australia on the First Fleet in 1788. They were released into the wild by a white dude in Victoria, for hunting, because they could do “little harm.” AHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Despite being introduced deliberately, they are illegal to own as pets in Queensland. Liz once watched with interest as a rabbit at the zoo burrowed underneath its fence and hippety-hopped to freedom.
Stephanie’s favourite rabbit is Mixie, from The Ferals.
Why were foxes even introduced? *google* Oh. Hunting. Of course. Thanks a bunch, England.
Anyway, foxes are very pretty, but also jerks. Between the wild foxes and the feral cats and the feral dogs, the poor old dingoes really have to work to get ahold of babies!
Camels were introduced as desert transport, but then the car was invented, and they were turned loose. These days, they roam around, being jerks to native wildlife and providing transportation to extremely tedious memoirists whose iconic books are studied by bored first year Auslit students. Sorry, camels, you deserve better.
- Gold fish
So it turns out that when you get bored and release your fishies into the wild, they establish feral populations. F.E.R.A.L. Because they are fucking hardcore and can survive all sorts of environments.
“But goldfish are so pretty!”
Yeeeeeeeaaaah. You’re gonna love it when they fin-nip native fish and kill them. It’s gonna be awesome. They also love digging and uprooting plants, which alters the nutrients and kills locals, and they get more food. Yes. Best.
You know that picture book about the kid who feeds his goldfish too much, and it ends up becoming ENORMOUS and (I think) destroying a house?
- Asian mussel
It’s attractive, delicious, and invasive as hell.
Australian rite of passage, possibly limited to girls:
1. Read The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell, about a beautiful wild horse named Thowra
2. Discover that brumbies — small wild horses — are real.
3. Discover that, due to massive overpopulation and the damage they do to the environment, they are culled by shooting them from helicopters.
4. FOREVER TRAUMA
But seriously, No Award is in favour of a catch-and-neuter program for wild horses, thank you.
See foxes. Only, you know, they were introduced as Person’s Best Friend, not prey for wealthy hunters.
- Myna birds
Looks a lot like the Noisy Miner bird, and was named by white fellas who couldn’t tell the difference between an Indian bird and an Australian bird. Like white people, it enjoys dispossessing locals and pooping on pets.
- Rock pigeons
All birds are terrible. But rock pigeons compound their basic birdness by having acidic faeces. No. Just no.
- Some sparrows
We can’t remember exactly why some species of sparrow are terrible, aside from the obvious fact that they are birds. (Stephanie notes that this opinion does not reflect No Award’s official pro-bird stance.)
But here’s an interesting post about the English sparrow in the US — turns out Australia’s not the only country to have gone to war against a bird. Although we may still be the only country to have comprehensively lost that war.
(That link seems to take the position that people who are opposed to invasive species taking over the country are … racist? Prejudiced against invasive species? Anyway, we’ll see how you feel when you wake up and your drinking water is full of giant goldfish and North Pacific seastars.)
- Some white people
For the record, it has been at least weeks since Liz wiped out a native species.
Bonus! Australia’s least attractive invasive species:
- cane toads
- european wasps
- tony abbott