Priority threat management of invasive animals to protect biodiversity under climate change

Firn, Jennifer, Maggini, Ramona, Chadès, Iadine, Nicol, Sam, Walters, Belinda, Reeson, Andrew, Martin, Tara G., Possingham, H. P., Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste, Ponce-Reyes, R., & Carwardine, Josie (2015) Priority threat management of invasive animals to protect biodiversity under climate change. Global Change Biology.

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Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity, and its impacts can act synergistically to heighten the severity of other threats. Most research on projecting species range shifts under climate change has not been translated to informing priority management strategies on the ground. We develop a prioritization framework to assess strategies for managing threats to biodiversity under climate change and apply it to the management of invasive animal species across one-sixth of the Australian continent, the Lake Eyre Basin. We collected information from key stakeholders and experts on the impacts of invasive animals on 148 of the region's most threatened species and 11 potential strategies. Assisted by models of current distributions of threatened species and their projected distributions, experts estimated the cost, feasibility, and potential benefits of each strategy for improving the persistence of threatened species with and without climate change. We discover that the relative cost-effectiveness of invasive animal control strategies is robust to climate change, with the management of feral pigs being the highest priority for conserving threatened species overall. Complementary sets of strategies to protect as many threatened species as possible under limited budgets change when climate change is considered, with additional strategies required to avoid impending extinctions from the region. Overall, we find that the ranking of strategies by cost-effectiveness was relatively unaffected by including climate change into decision-making, even though the benefits of the strategies were lower. Future climate conditions and impacts on range shifts become most important to consider when designing comprehensive management plans for the control of invasive animals under limited budgets to maximize the number of threatened species that can be protected.

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ID Code: 86683
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: adaptive management, climate adaptation, climate variability, complementarity, decision theory, ecological cost-benefit analyses, EPBC Act 1999, IPCC RCP 6 scenario, IUCN Red List, Maxent, multi-objective optimization, synergistic threats to biodiversity
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13034
ISSN: 1365-2486
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Deposited On: 20 Aug 2015 04:12
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2015 11:50

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