Declaring eradication of invasive species: a review of methods for transparent decision-making

Tracy M. Rout, Applied Environmental Decision Analysis Centre, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Due to their impact on natural systems, eradication of invasive species is preferable when possible. Deciding whether a species has been successfully eradicated is diffi cult because of imperfect detection (Morrison et al. 2007). There are two ways that the decision to declare eradication can go wrong: if the species is declared eradicated then still present, its population may grow undetected, incurring large economic and environmental costs; alternatively,
continuing surveys when the species is already gone involves unnecessary survey costs (Regan et al. 2006). By analysing this dilemma as an explicit decision problem, managers can balance the risk of these errors, and above all, make decisions that are transparent and justifi able. In this paper I summarize current work in the development and application of decision theory for declaring eradication.


Plant Protection Quarterly(2009) 24 (3) 92-94.