The story of animal, insect and plant invaders is as old as the world itself. When humankind first began to roam, these beings tagged along. In strange new lands, the human instinct to collect unique specimens was born. So bits and pieces of non-natives came back with them – if indeed, these peoples ever returned to their points of origin.
From the tea-horse trade route in ancient Tibet to the Silk Road trade across Asia, Russia, Arabia and Africa into Europe, humans have moved about in search of economic opportunity. Certain plants and animals have been successfully raised far from their native regions when there were similarities in soil and climate: cotton, indigo, tobacco, rice, silk and wool come to mind along with all our domesticated animals. Other peoples moved to find religious freedom, escape tyrannical regimes, or just to have more living space. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, plants, animals and insects came with them.
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