An economic decision model of wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus control to conserve Australian native vegetation

Brian Cooke, Randall Jones, Wendy Gong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Context: Economic decision models are seldom used in developing policies for the cost-effective control of invasive species that threaten natural ecosystems. However, their potential value is shown using an example of European rabbits damaging native vegetation in Australia. Aims To better define the problem of rabbit damage, provide a sound theoretical basis for implementing cost-efficient strategies for rabbit control and show how resources available for ecosystem protection can be most effectively applied. Methods A dynamic economic decision model was developed, incorporating the costs and effectiveness of three methods for controlling rabbits among native vegetation to consider alternative management strategies. A monetary value on native vegetation was set using the 'avoided' cost of replanting trees on roadsides and from field data we described how capacity of plant communities to regenerate improves if rabbit numbers are reduced. Key results Model outputs indicated the best combinations of methods for cost-effective rabbit control and showed how the highest benefits could be gained in protecting natural vegetation. Conclusions The model provided a framework for deciding how limited resources might be used to greatest benefit for protecting native vegetation. Implications This methodology could apply to other invasive species, provided that natural assets can be given a justifiable monetary value, control costs and effectiveness can be determined and the impact of the pests on assets can be modelled as dynamic population processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)558-565
    Number of pages8
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume37
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Oryctolagus cuniculus
    rabbits
    economics
    vegetation
    cost
    assets
    invasive species
    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    resource
    methodology
    decision
    plant community
    plant communities
    population dynamics
    pests
    damage
    method

    Cite this

    Cooke, Brian ; Jones, Randall ; Gong, Wendy. / An economic decision model of wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus control to conserve Australian native vegetation. In: Wildlife Research. 2010 ; Vol. 37, No. 7. pp. 558-565.
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    abstract = "Context: Economic decision models are seldom used in developing policies for the cost-effective control of invasive species that threaten natural ecosystems. However, their potential value is shown using an example of European rabbits damaging native vegetation in Australia. Aims To better define the problem of rabbit damage, provide a sound theoretical basis for implementing cost-efficient strategies for rabbit control and show how resources available for ecosystem protection can be most effectively applied. Methods A dynamic economic decision model was developed, incorporating the costs and effectiveness of three methods for controlling rabbits among native vegetation to consider alternative management strategies. A monetary value on native vegetation was set using the 'avoided' cost of replanting trees on roadsides and from field data we described how capacity of plant communities to regenerate improves if rabbit numbers are reduced. Key results Model outputs indicated the best combinations of methods for cost-effective rabbit control and showed how the highest benefits could be gained in protecting natural vegetation. Conclusions The model provided a framework for deciding how limited resources might be used to greatest benefit for protecting native vegetation. Implications This methodology could apply to other invasive species, provided that natural assets can be given a justifiable monetary value, control costs and effectiveness can be determined and the impact of the pests on assets can be modelled as dynamic population processes.",
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    An economic decision model of wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus control to conserve Australian native vegetation. / Cooke, Brian; Jones, Randall; Gong, Wendy.

    In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 37, No. 7, 2010, p. 558-565.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Gong, Wendy

    PY - 2010

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    N2 - Context: Economic decision models are seldom used in developing policies for the cost-effective control of invasive species that threaten natural ecosystems. However, their potential value is shown using an example of European rabbits damaging native vegetation in Australia. Aims To better define the problem of rabbit damage, provide a sound theoretical basis for implementing cost-efficient strategies for rabbit control and show how resources available for ecosystem protection can be most effectively applied. Methods A dynamic economic decision model was developed, incorporating the costs and effectiveness of three methods for controlling rabbits among native vegetation to consider alternative management strategies. A monetary value on native vegetation was set using the 'avoided' cost of replanting trees on roadsides and from field data we described how capacity of plant communities to regenerate improves if rabbit numbers are reduced. Key results Model outputs indicated the best combinations of methods for cost-effective rabbit control and showed how the highest benefits could be gained in protecting natural vegetation. Conclusions The model provided a framework for deciding how limited resources might be used to greatest benefit for protecting native vegetation. Implications This methodology could apply to other invasive species, provided that natural assets can be given a justifiable monetary value, control costs and effectiveness can be determined and the impact of the pests on assets can be modelled as dynamic population processes.

    AB - Context: Economic decision models are seldom used in developing policies for the cost-effective control of invasive species that threaten natural ecosystems. However, their potential value is shown using an example of European rabbits damaging native vegetation in Australia. Aims To better define the problem of rabbit damage, provide a sound theoretical basis for implementing cost-efficient strategies for rabbit control and show how resources available for ecosystem protection can be most effectively applied. Methods A dynamic economic decision model was developed, incorporating the costs and effectiveness of three methods for controlling rabbits among native vegetation to consider alternative management strategies. A monetary value on native vegetation was set using the 'avoided' cost of replanting trees on roadsides and from field data we described how capacity of plant communities to regenerate improves if rabbit numbers are reduced. Key results Model outputs indicated the best combinations of methods for cost-effective rabbit control and showed how the highest benefits could be gained in protecting natural vegetation. Conclusions The model provided a framework for deciding how limited resources might be used to greatest benefit for protecting native vegetation. Implications This methodology could apply to other invasive species, provided that natural assets can be given a justifiable monetary value, control costs and effectiveness can be determined and the impact of the pests on assets can be modelled as dynamic population processes.

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    KW - economic

    KW - Oryctolagus

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