Risk assessment: Helping to prevent pets from becoming pests

Many species of introduced vertebrates have become established in Australia as a result of deliberate or accidental releases, costing the economy millions of dollars. Invasive species are internationally recognised as one of the most significant threatening processes to biodiversity (Lowe et al. 2000) and increasingly, they are causing considerable social problems. In Australia, the widespread holding and movement of some introduced species will pose high levels of risk of them being accidentally or deliberately released, with some having the potential to become established as feral populations and possibly become pests. The Vertebrate Pests Committee’s ‘Guidelines for the Import, Movement and Keeping of Exotic Vertebrates in Australia’ outlines a national strategic approach to minimise the risks posed by introduced animals. A key part of this strategy is a uniform system of threat assessment for introduced vertebrates relating to primary production, the environment and public safety.

The Western Australian Department of Agriculture received funding from the Natural Heritage Trust, through the Bureau of Rural Sciences, to conduct threat assessments using the Bomford model (Bomford 2003). This model is designed to estimate the threat posed by exotic vertebrates to Australia. The model was applied in a standardised way to 47 bird species; extensive literature reviews were sued to collect required information and the software CLIMATE (Pheloung 1996) was also used.

Author Kirkpatrick, W. and Massam, M.
Date 2005-05-02
Year 2005
Secondary title 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Place published Wellington, NZ
Publisher Landcare Research
Institution Department of Agriculture, WA
Pages 314-315
Region WA
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