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Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations


McCreless, EE and Huff, DD and Croll, DA and Tershy, BR and Spatz, DR and Holmes, ND and Butchart, SHM and Wilcox, C, Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations, Nature Communications, 7 Article 12488. ISSN 2041-1723 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms12488


Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 4175% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biodiversity, conservation biology, invasive species, island, population ecology
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Wilcox, C (Dr Chris Wilcox)
ID Code:118373
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-11
Last Modified:2018-05-09
Downloads:119 View Download Statistics

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