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The Great Cactus War is the true story of the greatest plant invasion in human history.
Perhaps humanity's most enduring legacy is our ability to move plants and animals around the planet. These organisms soon merge with the local ecology, often changing it forever. Sometimes they are so successful that they become a plague.
Imagine a sea of prickly-pear cactus up to 30 feet high that covered a region larger than Italy and was still spreading at the alarming rate of more than one million acres a year. Thousands of people were being driven out of their homes and off the land. Digging, burning, smashing, and poisoning the "green monster" was having little real effect.
This was the desperate scene that many rural Australians were faced with during the first part of the 20th century. Then, in the mid-1920s, a self-taught group of scientists discovered a little moth in Argentina whose larvae ate the pear into submission. Rural Australia was thus saved, but today that little hero may be poised to create a plague of its own...
A lifelong naturalist and conservation biologist, Terry Domico published work has received numerous awards, including the Washington Governor's Writers Award, a Sigma Delta Chi award for "Excellence in Journalism", and first place in the World Photography Contest. When not traveling for research, he splits his time between Washington State's San Juan Islands and Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia.