The large-scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in northern europe.

Peter A. Robertson, Tim Adriaens, X. Lambin, A. Mill, Sugoto Roy, Craig M. Shuttleworth, Michael Sutton-Croft

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    Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10km2), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large-scale removals (mean area = 2,627km2) from Northern Europe since the 1900; including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas’ and grey squirrels and American mink; each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with, and was best predicted by area, whilst the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, there was no evidence that cost-effectiveness had increased through time. Compared to small islands, larger-scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries, consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonization. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPest Management Science
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)273-279
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2017

    Thematic list

    • Mammals
    • Invasive species (fauna management)
    • Invasive species (management)
    • Invasive species (species diversity)
    • Invasive species (nature management)
    • Invasive species (damage management)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • B005-zoology

    Taxonomic list

    • mammals (Mammalia)


    • species directed nature management

    Geographic list

    • Europe

    Free keywords

    • invasive species
    • alien species
    • eradication
    • control
    • mammal


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