Early Intervention Strategies for Invasive Species Management: Connections Between Risk Assessment, Prevention Efforts, Eradication, and Other Rapid ResponsesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Managing invasive species becomes increasingly difficult and expensive as populations of new pathogens, plants, insects, and other animals (i.e., pests) spread and reach high densities. Research over the past decade confirms the value of early intervention strategies intended to (1) prevent invasive species from arriving within an endangered area or (2) detect and respond quickly to new species incursions (Baker et al. 2009; Ewel et al. 1999; Holden et al. 2016; Leung et al. 2014). The goal of such biosecurity approaches is to keep or return the density of invasive species to zero so that damages from those pests might be prevented or to confine populations to localized areas so that damage from those species might be limited (Magarey et al. 2009). Prediction, prevention, early detection, eradication, and other rapid responses, all components of proactive management, are less costly and more effective than reactive tactics (Epanchin-Niell and Liebhold 2015; Leung et al. 2002; Lodge et al. 2006; Rout et al. 2014) (Fig. 6.1). Prediction is achieved through risk assessment (a process to forecast the likelihood and consequence of an invasion) and pathway analysis (a process to evaluate the means by which invasive species might be brought into an area of concern). Prevention is achieved through a variety of measures including regulations and quarantine treatments. Indeed, pathway analyses and subsequent regulation of those pathways are considered “the frontline in the prevention of biological invasions” (Hulme 2009) and cost-effective approaches (Essl et al. 2015; Keller et al. 2007; Leung et al. 2002; Tidbury et al. 2016). Surveillance is fundamental to early detection, and if a target species is detected, the primary rapid responses are eradication, containment, or suppression (reviewed in Beric and MacIsaac 2015). Early intervention strategies often operate at spatial scales that are much greater than the scale at which most land managers operate. Success thus requires effective coordination among researchers, regulators, and managers at international, national, sub-national, and local levels.