Feasibility study

This report presents the findings of a research project conducted on the island of Nuutele. An offshore uninhabited island lying east of the main island of Upolu, Samoa. The island is home and haven to sea birds and most endangered endemic and native land birds of Samoa. However, the invasion of the island by rat of unknown species, population and distribution has raised the concern for serious wildlife management actions to protect the islands' bio-diversity.

The purpose of this study is to review theoretical and empirical findings in economics with respect to the challenging question of how to manage invasive species. The review revealed a relatively large body of literature on the assessment of damage costs of invasive species; single species and groups of species at different geographical scales.

Minimizing the impact of invasive alien species (IAS) on islands and elsewhere requires researchers to provide cogent information on the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of IAS to the public and policy makers. Unfortunately, this information has not been readily available owing to a paucity of scientific research and the failure of the scientific community to make their findings readily available to decision makers.

Insects have presented human society with some of its greatest development challenges by spreading diseases, consuming crops and damaging infrastructure. Despite the massive human and financial toll of invasive insects, cost estimates of their impacts remain sporadic, spatially incomplete and of questionable quality. Here we compile a comprehensive database of economic costs of invasive insects. Taking all reported goods and service estimates, invasive insects cost a minimum of US$70.0 billion per year globally, while associated health costs exceed US$6.9 billion per year.

Late is an isolated and uninhabited island located about 55 km WSW of the island of Vava'u, in the Kingdom of Tonga. Late supports a tropical broad-leaf forest ecosystem, one of the most threatened ecosystem types in the world and one of the best remaining tracts of diverse native forest in Tonga. Owing to its relatively unmodified forest communities, Late is also a global stronghold for two IUCN listed species of bird, one native mammal, and six species of reptile.

This study describes the biodiversity values of Malden Island, Kiribati, and assesses the potential benefits, feasibility and costs of removing key invasive species. Malden is relatively pest-free, but two significant invasive species are present - feral house cats and house mice. We believe that the most cost-effective and beneficial conservation action in the short term for Kiribati is to undertake a cat eradication programme.

Economic impacts from invasive species, conveyed as expected damages to assets from invasion and expected costs of successful prevention and/or removal, may vary significantly across spatially differentiated landscapes. We develop a spatial-dynamic model for optimal early detection and rapid-response (EDRR) policies, commonly exploited in the management of potential invaders around the world, and apply it to the case of the Brown treesnake in Oahu, Hawaii.