Prioritizing eradication actions on islands: It's not all or nothing

Helmstedt, Kate J., Shaw, Justine D., Bode, Michael, Terauds, Aleks, Springer, Keith, Robinson, Susan A. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2016) Prioritizing eradication actions on islands: It's not all or nothing. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53 3: 733-741. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12599

Author Helmstedt, Kate J.
Shaw, Justine D.
Bode, Michael
Terauds, Aleks
Springer, Keith
Robinson, Susan A.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Prioritizing eradication actions on islands: It's not all or nothing
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2664
Publication date 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1365-2664.12599
Volume 53
Issue 3
Start page 733
End page 741
Total pages 9
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. Many highly diverse island ecosystems across the globe are threatened by invasive species. Eradications of invasive mammals from islands are being attempted with increasing frequency, with success aided by geographical isolation and increasing knowledge of eradication techniques. There have been many attempts to prioritize islands for invasive species eradication; however, these coarse methods all assume managers are unrealistically limited to a single action on each island: either eradicate all invasive mammals, or do nothing.

2. We define a prioritization method that broadens the suite of actions considered, more accurately representing the complex decisions facing managers. We allow the opportunity to only eradicate a subset of invasive mammals from each island, intentionally leaving some invasive mammals on islands. We consider elements often omitted in previous prioritization methods, including feasibility, cost and complex ecological responses (i.e. trophic cascades).

3. Using a case study of Australian islands, we show that for a fixed budget, this method can provide a higher conservation benefit across the whole group of islands. Our prioritization method outperforms simpler methods for almost 80% of the budgets considered.

4. On average, by relaxing the restrictive assumption that an eradication attempt must be made for all invasives on an island, ecological benefit can be improved by 27%.

5. Synthesis and applications. Substantially higher ecological benefits for threatened species can be achieved for no extra cost if conservation planners relax the assumption that eradication projects must target all invasives on an island. It is more efficient to prioritize portfolios of eradication actions rather than islands.
Keyword Decision theory
Feral cats
Integer programming
Invasive species
Island conservation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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