Government conservation agencies in New Zealand and the Australian state of Victoria spend 20% and 4%, respectively, of their annual budgets to manage a small part of the problem caused by introduced mammals. Managers' uncertainty about the optimal strategies for applying pest control has led to major differences in management practices within the single pest control programs in both countries. Monitoring under a trial-and-error approach has not removed uncertainty but has led managers to support the application of adaptive management for their pest control. Control of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Victoria, Australia, is conducted over large areas in many operations, but individual managers apply different control regimes based on the perceived benefits and opportunity costs. We report on the processes used to set up the first adaptive management experiments in pest control in New Zealand or Australia that combine the competing models approach (used when only a single management regime can be applied at one time) with an experimental approach (made possible when different management regimes are applied simultaneously in different places) with the aim of elucidating benefits and costs of the different strategies used to control the 2 pests.
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