It might seem ironic given the current migrant crisis across the EU that has seen millions of refugees apply for asylum in member states over the past two years.
But 37 plant and animal species are being given the boot, according to EU regulation 2016/1141.
The new regulation targets non-native species across Europe that are considered to be invasive and a threat to existing wildlife.
In the Czech Republic, the more common animal species on the list include the nutria (also known as the coypu, or river rat), which has recently found a home in Prague’s Vltava, and the common racoon.
Various species of fish, crayfish, crabs, and turtles that feature on the list can also currently be found in the Czech Republic.
The new measures will prohibit the import, sale, and breeding of the 37 plant and animal species.
Unspecified measures will be taken to control populations that already exist in large numbers, while smaller groups will be targeted for eradication.
These are the 20 animal species on the list:
- Pallas’s squirrel
- Chinese mitten crab
- Chinese sleeper fish
- Eastern gray squirrel
- Fox squirrel
- Siberian chipmunk
- African sacred ibis
- American bullfrog
- Reeves’s muntjac
- South American coati
- Spinycheek crayfish
- Signal crayfish
- Louisiana crayfish
- Procambarus fallax (crayfish)
- Ruddy duck
- Stone moroko fish
- Pond slider turtle
- Asian predatory wasp
In total, approximately 12,000 non-native species of plants and animals can currently be found in the EU, with the 37 targeted by the new regulations considered invasive.
Damage done by invasive species across the EU is estimated to be in the range of 300 billion CZK each year.
Local zoos seem to be split on the issue, according to this Blesk article, with a Prague Zoo spokesperson finding no problem with the new regulations, which are designed to preserve wildlife native to the EU.
But René František, director of ZOO Chleby, did not mince his words.
“The fact that we bring in various Iranians, Syrians and the like, and it is considered OK. We bring in foreign homo sapiens with a completely different culture here, that’s OK. Then suddenly we should be killing off animals? I do not like that at all.”