Alien Invasion | 2001
Alan Alda discusses with scientists and naturalists methods of combatting increasing threats from alien species: plants, animals, insects and diseases that wreak havoc in defenseless regions. In Segment 1, "The Silence of the Birds," brown tree snakes that were alien to Guam invaded the island, bringing havoc on native bird life (all three of its native bird species have been lost). Scientists have been forced to seek radical measures to bring the ecological disaster under control; biologist Don Nichols has developed a special virus unique to snakes that kills by flooding their lungs with fluid. In Segment 2, "Green Invader," a special slug may be used to help destroy a tropical alga that may turn the Mediterranean into a biological desert.
In Segment 3, "The Silken Tree Eaters," U.S. scientists are devising ways to combat the European gypsy moth that was imported into the Northeast in the 1870s in the hopes of sparking a silk industry in the USA. The moth population has exploded and devasted forests as far west as Wisconsin. In Segment 4, "Dust Busting," scientists are discovering that Caribbean coral reefs are being killed by a soil fungus blowing in dust from new African farmland.