Bio-economics of large-scale eradication of feral goats from Santiago Island, Galápagos

Cruz, F., Carrion, V., Campbell, K. J., Lavoie, C. and Donlan, C. J. (2009) Bio-economics of large-scale eradication of feral goats from Santiago Island, Galápagos. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73 2: 191-200. doi:10.2193/2007-551

Author Cruz, F.
Carrion, V.
Campbell, K. J.
Lavoie, C.
Donlan, C. J.
Title Bio-economics of large-scale eradication of feral goats from Santiago Island, Galápagos
Journal name Journal of Wildlife Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-541X
Publication date 2009-02-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2193/2007-551
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 73
Issue 2
Start page 191
End page 200
Total pages 10
Editor Frank R. Thompson
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Subject C1
050103 Invasive Species Ecology
919902 Ecological Economics
Abstract Invasive mammals are premier drivers of extinction and ecosystem change, particularly on islands. In the 1960s, conservation practitioners started developing techniques to eradicate invasive mammal populations from islands. Larger and more biologically complex islands are being targeted for restoration worldwide. We conducted a feral goat (Capra hircus) eradication campaign on Santiago Island in the Galápagos archipelago, which was an unprecedented advance in the ability to reverse biodiversity impacts by invasive species. We removed >79,000 goats from Santiago Island (58,465 ha) in <4.5 years, at an approximate cost of US$6.1 million. An eradication ethic combined with a suite of techniques and technologies made eradication possible. A field-based Geographic Information System facilitated an adaptive management strategy, including adjustment and integration of hunting methods. Specialized ground hunting techniques with dogs removed most of the goat population. Aerial hunting by helicopter and Judas goat techniques were also critical. Mata Hari goats, sterilized female Judas goats induced into a long-term estrus, removed males from the remnant feral population at an elevated rate, which likely decreased the length and cost of the eradication campaign. The last 1,000 goats cost US$2.0 million to remove; we spent an additional US$467,064 on monitoring to confirm eradication. Aerial hunting is cost-effective even in countries where labor is inexpensive. Local sociopolitical environments and best practices emerging from large-scale, fast-paced eradications should drive future strategies. For nonnative ungulate eradications, island size is arguably no longer the limiting factor. Future challenges will involve removing invasive mammals from large inhabited islands while increasing cost-effectiveness of removing low-density populations and confirming eradication. Those challenges will require leveraging technology and applying theory from other disciplines, along with conservation practitioners working alongside sociologists and educators.
Formatted abstract

Keyword bio-economics
Capra hircus
invasive mammals
island conservation
Judas goats
nonnative mammals
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 41 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 27 Mar 2009, 21:58:32 EST by Leesa Young on behalf of School of Integrative Systems