Here in Utah, in 2006 we had a huge population of voles -- small, black rodents that burrow. They were everywhere! Tore up a lot of lawns; my cats probably remember as the most enjoyable summer they had.
In 2000 we had a massive population of Mormon Crickets. No kidding, that's what they're called. Big, ugly black brutes all over the desert. They followed certain paths across the highway, and after a while the cars would leave them as a 20-foot wide black mess on the highway, stinking to high heaven. And because Mormon Crickets are cannibalistic, the mess attracted even more!
The Mormons venerate seagulls because, when the first Mormon settlers arrived, their first crop was beset by Mormon Crickets. Suddenly, so the story goes, flocks of seagulls arrived to eat the crickets. It's viewed as a miracle.
Actually, happens each time there's an overpopulation of Mormon Crickets. Happened in 2000 too, when flocks of seagulls left the Great Salt Lake, local rivers and other lakes to clean up the crickets.
The Mormons claim that until that "miracle" occurred, seagulls had never before been seen in the area. Yeah, right.
Pretty weak "miracle" if you ask me.
But populations flourish from time to time, straining resources and crowding out other native species. People talk about the "balance" of nature. No such thing ... it's more like a roller coaster ride.
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Invasion of moles in Ireland in 896
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