Melissa Balmain: Invasive Species

(Or, Overheard On A Cruise Ship)

"Scientists and conservationists agree that
introduced plants and animals represent the
single greatest threat to the terrestrial ecosystems
of Galapagos." – Galapagos Conservancy

The goats are just a menace, so I hear,
devouring shrubbery like some John Deere
and leaving nothing for the giant tortoise.
Poor thing ends up with early rigor mortis.

Pet cats? Now there's a never-ending mess.
It seems they can't be satisfied unless
they stuff themselves each time they come upon a
young lava lizard or marine iguana . . .

But worst of all is the philornis fly.
Its larvae lurk in nests, suck chicks half dry,
deform their beaks and sap their strength by inches,
until it's adiós to Darwin's finches.

Those islands are all doomed, I would expect.
Thank God we're visiting before they're wrecked −
Two hundred thousand tourists just this year!
The restaurants are charming, so I hear.