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

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articleResearchpeer-review

Authors

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

External Organisations

  • Animal and Plant Health Agency, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK
  • University of Aberdeen, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
  • School of Biology, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU, UK
  • IUCN, 28 rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalPest Management Science
Volume73
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2017

Abstract

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.
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