Invasive species are a serious problem across the world. In particular, non-native plants pose significant risks to ecosystems by stealing resources from local species. Luckily, innovation never sleeps. A nature reserve outside of Milwaukee has harnessed a team of goats to tackle two particularly bothersome invaders – buckthorn and honeysuckle. The army of 90 goats is responsible for a 180-acre area, or two acres per goat on average.
The animals are contracted from Vegetation Solutions, a company that specializes in training goats and sheep to munch on unwanted shrubbery. In a statement on their website, the company requests that clients contact them well in advance, as space in the grazing schedule is limited. Although Vegetation Solutions only services the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, do not despair: similar services may be available in your area. And as an added bonus, with the price of a goat rental, all the natural fertilizer you want comes absolutely free!
Cover photo courtesy of Malingering, Flickr Creative Commons