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The economic case for invasive brown tree snake management

Cara J

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In recognition of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (February 21-27), USDA Wildlife Services is providing a two part series on the economics of invasive species management. A recent article in The Economist (“Day of the triffids,” Dec. 5, 2015) advocates the belief that “invasive species are more benign than is generally thought— and much harder to eradicate.” The author supports his claim by asserting that eradication campaigns, such as the brown tree snake effort on Guam, are costly and often fail. Unfortunately, the article misses the mark. While it is true that eradicating invasive species is difficult and campaigns sometimes fail, the primary goal of most invasive species management efforts is to reduce their damage. Millions of dollars have been spent to reduce the number of invasive brown tree snakes on Guam and prevent their spread. Economists at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center highlight the full economic benefits of the program. ©USDA Wildlife Services “Since the late 1980s, USDA Wildlife Services (WS) has collaborated with other agencies on Guam to reduce brown tree snake numbers, prevent their spread, reclaim natural areas for the reintroduction of native wildlife, protect endangered species, improve public health, and protect power stations and other [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/the-economic-case-for-invasive-brown-tree-snake-management/

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