Cost-Benefit Analysis for Invasive Species Control: the Case of Greater Canada Goose Branta canadensis in Flanders (Northern Belgium)

Tim Adriaens, Jim Casaer, Lieven De Smet, Koenraad Devos, Frank Huysentruyt, Peter Robertson, Tom Verbeke, Nikolaas Reyns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Abstract

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Sound decisions on control actions for established invasive alien species (IAS) require information on ecological as well as socio-economic impact of the species and of its management. Cost-benefit analysis provides part of this information, yet has received relatively little attention in the scientific literature on IAS. We apply a bio-economic model in a cost-benefit analysis framework to greater Canada goose Branta canadensis, an IAS with documented social, economic and ecological impacts in Flanders (northern Belgium). We compared a business as usual (BAU) scenario which involved non-coordinated hunting and egg destruction with an enhanced scenario based on a continuation of these activities but supplemented with coordinated capture of moulting birds. To assess population growth under the BAU scenario we fitted a logistic growth model to the observed pre-moult capture population. Projected damage costs included water eutrophication and damage to cultivated grasslands and were calculated for all scenarios. Management costs of the moult captures were based on a representative average of the actual cost of planning and executing moult captures. Comparing the scenarios with different capture rates, different costs for eutrophication and various discount rates, showed avoided damage costs were in the range of 21.15 M€ to 45.82 M€ under the moult capture scenario. The lowest value for the avoided costs applied to the scenario where we lowered the capture rate by 10%. The highest value occurred in the scenario where we lowered the real discount rate from 4% to 2.5%. The reduction in damage costs always outweighed the additional management costs of moult captures. Therefore, additional coordinated moult captures could be applied to limit the negative economic impact of greater Canada goose at a regional scale. We further discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our approach and its potential application to other IAS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 4th Croatian Symposium on Invasive Species
EditorsSven D. Jelaska
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationZagreb
Publication date29-Nov-2021
ISBN (Print)1849-5702
Publication statusPublished - 29-Nov-2021

Thematic List 2020

  • Invasive species
  • Wildlife management

Thematic list

  • Invasive species (fauna management)
  • Invasive species (nature management)
  • Invasive species (management)
  • Invasive species (damage management)
  • Invasive species (species diversity)
  • Waterbirds
  • Game (hunting)
  • Game damage

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B005-zoology
  • B280-animal-ecology

Taxonomic list

  • waterfowl (Anseriformes)


  • fauna management

Geographic list

  • Flanders

Free keywords

  • invasive species
  • non-native species
  • exoten
  • alien species
  • control
  • wildlife management


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