Juliana H. K. Kim, Peter Corson, Nick Mulgan, James C. Russell
Wildlife Research 47 (2), 128-136, (14 February 2020) https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18154
KEYWORDS: conservation,, invasion,, islands,, management strategies,, modelling,, pest management,, population modelling,, statistics,, vertebrates,, wildlife management.
Context. Eradication of invasive species is necessary to protect and assist the recovery of native species and ecosystems. Knowing when to declare an eradication has been successful after ongoing non-detections is a challenge.
Aims. The rapid eradication assessment (REA) model is a powerful simulation framework to determine, given model parameters and a fixed level of monitoring effort, the level of confidence in declaring the success of pest eradication. The aim of the present study was to extend the current functionality of the REA model for broader applicability.
Methods. The REA model was advanced so that it was able to account for (1) usage of multiple static device types with different probabilities of detection, (2) incursion detection at a known location and (3) usage of mobile detection devices, which are increasingly being used in conservation.
Key results. An invasive rat incursion response on Great Mercury Island in New Zealand is used as a comprehensive example to demonstrate the distribution of estimated probability of pest absence among the cases using the current REA model and the extensions presented here.
Conclusions. Although Great Mercury Island already had a sparse but extensive island-wide network of static biosecurity surveillance devices, and deployed additional static devices around the area of incursion, the greatest improvement in the estimated probability of pest absence following a rat incursion was from additionally using a trained rodent-detection dog.
Implications. The added functionality in the REA model and demonstration of its use on a real-world scenario will allow more realistic application by wildlife managers.