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Environment and History

Motives for Introducing Species: Palestine's Carp as a Case Study

Dan Tamir

Environment and History 16 (2010): 73-95. doi: 10.3197/096734010X485300

Species introductions might lead to biological invasions, which in turn pose a serious threat to global biodiversity. There is a good deal of research about the ecological and physiological aspects of introductions and invasions, but there has been relatively little research into the socio-cultural and economic motives which initiate such species' introduction. One common assumption relates introductions to ethnic cultural traditions, while another assumption connects them to economic reasons. Taking the introduction of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) to Palestine's freshwaters in the 1930s, this article examines the contribution of such socio-cultural and economic motives to the process while suggesting a third motive, an ideological one. The article concludes by assessing the ways these three motives may still be intertwined in introduction processes in the modern era.

KEYWORDS: Carp, introduction, modernism, Israel, Palestine, ideology

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