When are eradication campaigns successful?
Eradication is the application of control measures aiming at extirpating an entire population of a pest from an area or from a management unit. Previous studies had not statistically evaluated which factors affect eradication success. A unique global dataset of 136 eradication campaigns against 75 species (invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens) was assembled. This dataset was statistically analyzed to consider whether factors such as (i) reaction time, (ii) extent of infestation, (iii) knowledge about the biology of the invading species, and (iv) whether the campaign was on an island or on the mainland are correlated with eradication success.
Of these variables, it appeared that only the spatial extent of the infestation was significantly related to the eradication campaign outcome: local campaigns were more successful than regional or national campaigns. Reaction time, the level of knowledge and insularity were not found to be related to eradication success. It appeared from the analysis that there were no obvious differences in the eradication success among pests or biogeographic regions.
It is therefore recommended that eradication measures concentrate on the very early phase of invasions, when infestations are still relatively small.
Pluess T, Cannon R, Jarošik V, Pergl J, Pyšek P ; Bacher S (2012) When are eradication campaigns successful? A test of common assumptions. Biological Invasions DOI: DOI 10.1007/s10530-011-0160-2