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The American Acclimatization Society was a
group founded in New York City in 1871
dedicated to introducing European flora and
fauna into North America for both economic and
cultural reasons. The group's charter explained
its goal was to introduce "such foreign varieties
of the animal and vegetable kingdom as may be
useful or interesting." The society's efforts had a
powerful impact on the natural history of North
America, particularly due to its unfortunate
success in introducing invasive bird species.[1]
But it was Schieffelin, an avid admirer of Shakespeare,
who was the society's driving force. Some accounts of
his efforts claim that he had resolved that as an
aesthetic goal, the organization should introduce
every bird species mentioned in the Bard's works.
….The society's wildest success was with the European
starling. The bird appears in Henry IV, Part 1 when
Hotspur considers using its vocal talents to drive the
King mad. Since King Henry was refusing to pay a
ransom to release his disloyal brother-in-law Edmund
Mortimer, Hotspur says: "I'll have a starling shall be
taught to speak nothing but "Mortimer," and give it
him, to keep his anger still in motion."
In your groups, talk through the prepared
slides from last time…focusing on what
might be some community effects and
ecosystem effects of some of the different
Each person in your group should find their
favorite “good point” from the article and
share it. Why did you think it was a good
Can each group write on the board one or two
of the “good points” they talked about?
Davis points out we should control species
What do you think “damage is great” means?
What do you think would constitute