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“Support Your Local Invasive Species”: Animal Protection Rhetoric and Nonnative Species

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Abstract This article explores protection efforts that have arisen in the New York City metropolitan area around the monk parakeet, a nonnative bird that has achieved a broad distribution outside its native habitat range. In some urban regions in which populations are established, controversy has developed around the parakeets’ use of utility infrastructure and potential impacts on native species and agricultural crops. This case provides an opportunity to explore animal protection rhetoric about nonnative species, an understudied topic, considering the great extent to which species have become established in ecosystems outside their natural ranges and the persistence of public affinity for nonnative plants and wildlife. This article identifies four major frames through which advocates have delivered the birds to public and legal audiences and considers how they have mobilized and handled notions of “nonnative-ness” in their advocacy work.

Affiliations: 1: Loyola Marymount University


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