Biologists, who commonly study the distribution of plant and animal species in different environments – their biogeography – strive to develop interpretations or explanations of the patterns of species distribution, but these may be incorrect if the effects of human beings are not taken into consideration. In some cases, these effects may be accidental; for example, some species of rat were unintentionally transported aboard ships from Europe to the islands of the South Pacific. In other cases, species distributions may have been deliberately modified by human beings. The Polynesians in the South Pacific intentionally moved the kumara (sweet potato) to islands in that region to provide the population with a new food crop. The relocation of species by humans (and more recently the imposition of restrictions on movement by way of national controls and world conventions) has been primarily for economic reasons and for environmental protection. For example, humans introduced Sitka spruce trees into Scotland and England from North America to use them as a timber crop. Similarly the Monterey pine tree was introduced into New Zealand in the nineteenth century from California and has become the most widely used species in the timber production industry in that country. The potato has been carried from its native home in the high Andes of South America, modified and developed into many varieties, and transported around the world because it can be used as a food crop. The plant formerly known as the Chinese gooseberry was relocated from its native China to New Zealand where an industry was established around the renamed kiwifruit. We have extended the distribution of some species because of certain useful traits that make the species desirable beyond their former known range For example, willows have extensive root systems, can grow relatively quickly, and are now used in several countries worldwide to stabilize river margins as a flood protection measure. The distribution of willows has therefore been influenced considerably by human use in river bank management. The effects of introduced species can be many and varied and can include effects on the distribution of other species. For example, the North American gray squirrel was introduced into England and has now largely displaced the native red squirrel. The accidental introduction of organisms to new areas may have major pest implications. The South African bronze butterfly, the larva (immature insect forms) of which feed on buds and other parts of geraniums and similar flowers, was accidentally introduced into the Balearic Islands via imported geraniums. In its native South Africa, the distribution and abundance of the butterfly are affected in part by a native wasp that parasitizes (feeds on) the larvae. In the absence of the parasite wasp on the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, the butterfly has now spread to mainland Spain where its rapid spread has been accentuated by trade in garden plants and modem transport. The species has become a major pest due to the lack of a natural predator and is now causing great problems for the horticultural industry in Spain. Human-driven changes in the distribution of some species may result in hybridization (interbreeding) with other species and so have a genetic effect. For example, the North American cord grass was accidentally introduced to the south coast of England in the early nineteenth century. It hybridized with the European cord grass and resulted in the production of a new species, which in this case is also a major pest plant of estuaries in England where it became dominant and extensive. Information about a species distribution (prior to human modification) maybe applied in pest control programs for the introduced species. Studies of the species in its native habitat may yield information about the factors that limit or influence its distribution and population dynamics. That information may then be applied in the development of strategies to contain and control the spread of pest species. For example, information about the role of the parasitic wasp in the ecology of the bronze butterfly may be utilized in the process of finding control strategies for that species on mainland Spain.