I have a question about using an animal non-native to an area to try and combat an unwanted animal of the same species, and what the environmental impact would be, or how the ecosystem would change.

Is that something that is on topic for biology.se, or is there a better place to ask such a question?

Proposed question would be something like the following:

I have a friend who lives in an area with a large population of Copperhead snakes. Given that they are venomous and frequently are found in their yard, they pose a threat to small pets and people. I was curious what the impact of releasing Kingsnakes in the area to try and combat the population of Copperheads, as Kingsnakes are non-venomous, are resistant to pit viper venom, and are known to eat pit vipers (not sure if it would be legal or not). My thought was that Kingsnakes would likely compete with Copperheads for the same place in an ecosystem, with Kingsnakes potentially winning due to resistance to venom and them preying on Copperheads, but ultimately not harming the ecosystem much due to them being quite similar to each other.

Would using Kingsnakes to combat/reduce the number of Copperheads be harmful to the environment/ecosystem besides potentially ousting Copperheads from their natural environment?


1 Answer 1


That would be ontopic, yet the Q needs decent embedding in the literature. The risk of hypothetical case questions like this is that they are too broad and lack any prior research required to make the Q answerable.

A question like: 'will the introduction of nonnative spider X in Africa eradicate malaria?' won't make it very far on this site, because it's too broad and too hypothetical.

Instead, if you ask 'why the introduction of cane toads did not eliminate cane beetles in Ozzie', that would open up a door or two to some nice answers.

  • $\begingroup$ My question was more along the lines of, could I use a certain type of snake to get rid of a different type of snake. I can write the whole question into my meta question here if that makes it easier to evaluate, or feel free to ping me in chat for a discussion if that is easier. $\endgroup$
    – Dragonrage
    Sep 7, 2023 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Dragonrage please insert the Q draft in your original post $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Sep 8, 2023 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ inserted it into the post. $\endgroup$
    – Dragonrage
    Sep 8, 2023 at 11:55

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