Non-native Species and Democracy

If you have some time and are in the mood for some Big Thoughts, read “What’s a Monkey to Do in Tampa?” which ran in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine. As a Sunday magazine, this is a publication for a general audience, so it is not interested in technical details as much as big ideas.

Writer Jon Mooallem goes way big in the piece, which is, after all about a macaque monkey, not native to North America, fitting it in to the American notion of freedom and a climate of political rancor lacking in a democratic ideal of compromise — that last theme perhaps a needed tie-in considering the monkey’s location and the location of this week’s Republican Convention.

Not mentioned in the article is that in Florida, the land of invasive (that is, harmful) non-native species like pythons, apple snails and melaleucas — monkeys (and there are whole troops of wild monkeys in the state) are relatively benign.

Mooallem is a deft writer, so you will have fun. And the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plays a starring, although not heroic, role.

Read The NY Times “What’s a Monkey to Do in Tampa?” here.


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