Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Estimating realistic costs for strategic management planning of invasive species eradications on islands

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Biological Invasions Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Environmental managers regularly face decisions about how to counteract threats. These decisions require an understanding of both the conservation benefits and economic costs of candidate actions. However, transparent frameworks for how to accurately calculate costs for management are rare. We worked with island managers in Australia to develop eradication protocols for six invasive species- four mammals and two weeds. We used the protocols to create an accounting framework for invasive species eradications to produce realistic cost estimates for eradications across multiple locations. We also used our models to test common cost assumptions: (1) that costs scale linearly with area, (2) that terrain does not influence costs, and (3) that eradication costs stay constant through time. By explicating testing assumptions, we found that costs largely scaled linearly with area, that terrain influences costs, and that costs decline as populations decline in response to ongoing management. Estimated mammal eradication costs were driven in large part by the area of an island and the cost of transport. However, when area alone was used as a proxy for costs, the calculated costs deviated from our modelled costs by 40–56%. Weed eradication cost estimates were driven by the size and density of an infestation as well as the terrain of the island, with the effect of terrain becoming more pronounced as area to be treated increased. We provide a method to calculate realistic costs across several sites, which can be used to guide strategic management decision-making, including prioritisation, and on-ground management actions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Adams VM, Setterfield SA (2013) Estimating the financial risks of Andropogon gayanus to greenhouse gas abatement projects in northern Australia. Environ Res Lett 8:025018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Adams VM, Setterfield SA (2015) Optimal dynamic control of invasions: applying a systematic conservation approach. Ecol Appl 25:1131–1141

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Adams VM, Setterfield SA (2016) Approaches to strategic risk analysis and management of invasive plants: lessons learned from managing gamba grass in northern Australia. Pac Conserv Biol 22:189–200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Adams VM, Pressey RL, Stoeckl N (2012) Estimating land and conservation management costs: the first step in designing a stewardship program for the Northern Territory. Biol Conserv 148:44–53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Algar D, Burbidge A, Angus G (2002) Cat eradication on Hermite Island, Montebello Islands, Western Australia. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. pp 14–18

  • Armstrong R (2004) Baiting operations: western shield review-February 2003. Conserv Sci West Aust 5:31

    Google Scholar 

  • Armsworth PR (2014) Inclusion of costs in conservation planning depends on limited datasets and hopeful assumptions. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1322:61–76

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bates D, Mächler M, Bolker B, Walker S (2014) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. J Stat Softw 67:1–48

    Google Scholar 

  • Bektas T (2006) The multiple traveling salesman problem: an overview of formulations and solution procedures. Omega 34:209–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omega.2004.10.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bell BD (2002) The eradication of alien mammals from five offshore islands, Mauritius, Indian Ocean. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. pp 40–45

  • Board LHI (2009) Draft Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan. Lord Howe Island Board

  • Brooke MdL, Hilton G, Martins T (2007) Prioritizing the world’s islands for vertebrate-eradication programmes. Anim Conserv 10:380–390

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Broome K, Cox A, Empson R, Hutchinson W (2002) Eradication planning for invasive alien animal species on islands-the approach developed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species: proceedings of the international conference on eradication of Island Invasives, vol 27. IUCN, p 85

  • Broome K, Cox A, Golding C, Cromarty P, Bell P, McClelland P (2014) Rat eradication using aerial baiting: current agreed best practice used in New Zealand (version 3.0) New Zealand Department of Conservation internal document, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 pp

  • Brotankova J, Randall M, Lewis A, Pressey B, Wenger A (2015) A genetic algorithm solver for pest management control in island systems. Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence. Springer, Germany, pp 273–285

    Google Scholar 

  • Burkhalter JC, Lockwood JL, Maslo B, Fenn KH, Leu K (2016) Effects of cost metric on cost-effectiveness of protected-area network design in urban landscapes. Conserv Biol 30(2):403–412

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Butchart SH et al (2010) Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science 328:1164–1168

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell C, Carter FD (1999) The Florida Department of Corrections involvement in exotic pest plant control Florida’s garden of good and evil West Palm Beach. Exotic Pest Plant Council, Florida

    Google Scholar 

  • Campbell K, Harper G, Algar D, Hanson C, Keitt B, Robinson S (2011) Review of feral cat eradications on islands Island Invasives: eradication and Management’(Eds CR Veitch, MN Clout and DR Towns) pp 37–46

  • Campbell KJ et al (2015) The next generation of rodent eradications: Innovative technologies and tools to improve species specificity and increase their feasibility on islands. Biol Conserv 185:47–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.10.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carwardine J, Wilson KA, Watts M, Etter A, Klein CJ, Possingham HP (2008) Avoiding costly conservation mistakes: the importance of defining actions and costs in spatial priority setting. PLoS One 3:e2586

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Cattarino L, Hermoso V, Bradford LW, Carwardine J, Wilson KA, Kennard MJ, Linke S (2016) Accounting for continuous species’ responses to management effort enhances cost-effectiveness of conservation decisions. Biol Conserv 197:116–123

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clout M (2001) Where protection is not enough: active conservation in New Zealand. Trends Ecol Evol 16:415–416. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02225-X

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Courchamp F, Chapuis J-L, Pascal M (2003) Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Biol Rev 78:347–383

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cunningham DC, Barry SC, Woldendorp G, Burgess MB (2004) A framework for prioritizing sleeper weeds for eradication 1. Weed Technol 18:1189–1193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dixon I, Dixon K, Barrett M (2002) Eradication of buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) on Airlie Island, Pilbara Coast, Western Australia. In: Turning the tide: eradication of invasive species International Union for the Conservation of Nature SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, United Kingdom. pp 92–101

  • Donlan C, Wilcox C (2007) Complexities of costing eradications. Anim Conserv 10:154–156

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Donlan CJ, Luque GM, Wilcox C (2015) Maximizing return on investment for island restoration and species conservation. Conserv Lett 8:171–179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Duncan RP, Boyer AG, Blackburn TM (2013) Magnitude and variation of prehistoric bird extinctions in the Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci 110:6436–6441

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Ehrenfeld JG (2010) Ecosystem consequences of biological invasions. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 41:59–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Evans MC, Tulloch AI, Law EA, Raiter KG, Possingham HP, Wilson KA (2015) Clear consideration of costs, condition and conservation benefits yields better planning outcomes. Biol Conserv 191:716–727

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Firn J, Martin TG, Chadès I, Walters B, Hayes J, Nicol S, Carwardine J (2015) Priority threat management of non-native plants to maintain ecosystem integrity across heterogeneous landscapes. J Appl Ecol 52:1135–1144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Flint E, Rehkemper C (2002) Control and eradication of the introduced grass, Cenchrus echinatus, at Laysan Island, Central Pacific Ocean. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. pp 110–115

  • Frazee S, Cowling R, Pressey R, Turpie J, Lindenberg N (2003) Estimating the costs of conserving a biodiversity hotspot: a case-study of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Biol Conserv 112:275–290

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gardener MR, Atkinson R, Rentería JL (2010) Eradications and people: lessons from the plant eradication program in Galapagos. Restor Ecol 18:20–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glen AS et al (2013) Eradicating multiple invasive species on inhabited islands: the next big step in island restoration? Biol Invasions 15:2589–2603. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-013-0495-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Helmstedt KJ, Shaw JD, Bode M, Terauds A, Springer K, Robinson SA, Possingham HP (2016) Prioritizing eradication actions on islands: it’s not all or nothing. J Appl Ecol 53:733–741

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes N, Campbell K, Keitt B, Griffiths R, Beek J, Donlan C, Broome K (2015a) Reporting costs for invasive vertebrate eradications. Biol Invasions 17:2913–2925

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes ND, Griffiths R, Pott M, Alifano A, Will D, Wegmann AS, Russell JC (2015b) Factors associated with rodent eradication failure. Biol Conserv 185:8–16

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Howald G, Donlan CJ, Faulkner KR, Ortega S, Gellerman H, Croll DA, Tershy BR (2010) Eradication of black rats Rattus rattus from Anacapa Island. Oryx 44:30–40. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060530999024X

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jenness J (2006) DEM Surface Tools: Topographic Position Index (tpi_jen.avx) extension for ArcView 3. x, v. 1.3 a. Jenness Enterprises. http://www.jennessent.com/arcview/tpi.htm

  • Jones HP et al (2016) Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in substantial conservation gains. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:4033–4038

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Keitt B et al (2015) Best practice guidelines for rat eradication on tropical islands. Biol Conserv 185:17–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.10.014

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kier G et al (2009) A global assessment of endemism and species richness across island and mainland regions. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:9322–9327. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0810306106

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Knight AT, Cowling RM, Rouget M, Balmford A, Lombard AT, Campbell BM (2008) Knowing but not doing: selecting priority conservation areas and the research—implementation gap. Conserv Biol 22:610–617

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lohr C, Passeretto K, Lohr M, Keighery G (2015) Prioritising weed management activities in a data deficient environment: the Pilbara islands, Western Australia. Heliyon 1:e00044

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Lohr C, Wenger A, Woodberry O, Pressey RL, Morris K (2017) Predicting island biosecurity risk from introduced fauna using Bayesian belief networks. Sci Total Environ 1173–1181

  • Marshall V, Lewis M, Ostendorf B (2012) Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) as an invader and threat to biodiversity in arid environments: a review. J Arid Environ 78:1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martins T, Brooke ML, Hilton G, Farnsworth S, Gould J, Pain D (2006) Costing eradications of alien mammals from islands. Anim Conserv 9:439–444

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McConnachie MM, Cowling RM, Van Wilgen BW, McConnachie DA (2012) Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of invasive alien plant clearing: a case study from South Africa. Biol Conserv 155:128–135

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McLeod LJ, Saunders GR, Miners A (2011) Can shooting be an effective management tool for foxes? Preliminary insights from a management programme. Ecol Manag Restor 12:224–226

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McMaster D, Adams V, Setterfield SA, McIntyre D, Douglas MM (2014) Para grass management and costing trial within Kakadu National Park. In: 19th Australasian Weeds Conference. Weed Society of Tasmania Inc., Hobart, Tasmania

  • Medina FM et al (2011) A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates. Glob Chang Biol 17:3503–3510

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moro D (2001) Evaluation and cost-benefits of controlling house mice (Mus domesticus) on islands: an example from Thevenard Island, Western Australia. Biol Conserv 99:355–364. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00231-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murdoch W, Polasky S, Wilson KA, Possingham HP, Kareiva P, Shaw R (2007) Maximizing return on investment in conservation. Biol Conserv 139:375–388

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Myers JH, Simberloff D, Kuris AM, Carey JR (2000) Eradication revisited: dealing with exotic species. Trends Ecol Evol 15:316–320

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Naidoo R, Balmford A, Ferraro PJ, Polasky S, Ricketts TH, Rouget M (2006) Integrating economic costs into conservation planning. Trends Ecol Evol 21:681–687

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nogales M et al (2004) A review of feral cat eradication on islands. Conserv Biol 18:310–319

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oppel S, Beaven BM, Bolton M, Vickery J, Bodey TW (2011) Eradication of invasive mammals on islands inhabited by humans and domestic animals. Conserv Biol 25:232–240

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Pressey RL, Mills M, Weeks R, Day JC (2013) The plan of the day: managing the dynamic transition from regional conservation designs to local conservation actions. Biol Conserv 166:155–169

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ratcliffe N et al (2010) The eradication of feral cats from Ascension Island and its subsequent recolonization by seabirds. Oryx 44:20–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rejmánek M, Pitcairn M (2002) When is eradication of exotic pest plants a realistic goal. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. pp 249–253

  • Schirmer J, Field J (2002) The cost of revegetation. Department of Forestry, Australian National University, Canberra, p 116

    Google Scholar 

  • Simberloff D (2009) We can eliminate invasions or live with them. Successful management projects. Biol Invasions 11:149–157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simberloff D, Parker IM, Windle PN (2005) Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs. Front Ecol Environ 3:12–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sutton N, Armsworth P (2014) The grain of spatially referenced economic cost and biodiversity benefit data and the effectiveness of a cost targeting strategy. Conserv Biol 28:1451–1461

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tjelmeland AD, Fulbright TE, Lloyd-Reilley J (2008) Evaluation of herbicides for restoring native grasses in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands. Restor Ecol 16:263–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Towns DR, Ballantine W (1993) Conservation and restoration of New Zealand island ecosystems. Trend Ecol Evol 8:452–457

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • van Wilgen BW, Fill JM, Baard J, Cheney C, Forsyth AT, Kraaij T (2016) Historical costs and projected future scenarios for the management of invasive alien plants in protected areas in the Cape Floristic Region. Biol Conserv 200:168–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.06.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vitousek PM, Mooney HA, Lubchenco J, Melillo JM (1997) Human domination of earth’s ecosystems. Science 277:494–499

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wilkinson I, Priddel D (2011) Rodent eradication on Lord Howe Island: challenges posed by people, livestock, and threatened endemics Island Invasives: Eradication and Management’(Eds CR Veitch, MN Clout and DR Towns) pp 508–514

  • Wilson KA et al (2007) Conserving biodiversity efficiently: what to do where, and when. PLoS Biol 5:e223. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050223

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all of the Parks and Wildlife managers who provided us with invaluable information. This work was support by the Gorgon Barrow Net Conservation Benefits program. RLP acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Amelia S. Wenger.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Online Resource 1: In-depth information on parametrisation of cost models (PDF 84 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wenger, A.S., Adams, V.M., Iacona, G.D. et al. Estimating realistic costs for strategic management planning of invasive species eradications on islands. Biol Invasions 20, 1287–1305 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1627-6

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1627-6

Keywords

Navigation