Exotic vertebrates can establish wild pest populations that prey on livestock and poultry, compete with livestock for food, eat valuable crops and cause land degradation through overgrazing. Exotic vertebrates also prey on and compete with native species for food and other resources, and may directly and indirectly modify ecosystems. They may reduce the range and abundance of native species or even cause them to become extinct. Other harm potentially caused by exotic vertebrates includes spreading diseases and hybridising with native species.
There is a risk that new exotic species could establish as wild pests in Australia. When animals escape or are illegally released they can start new populations in the wild that breed and spread. Once an exotic species is widespread, eradication is virtually impossible. Pre-import screening of exotic vertebrates is recognised as a primary and cost-effective tool to prevent the potential harm caused by exotic vertebrates.
The Bureau of Rural Sciences produced this report for the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. The report provides information to assist government agencies increase public awareness and assess the risks posed by the import and keeping of exotic species. For example, the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has the agreement of the publisher and contributing authors to republish the information that is relevant to the risk assessment processes for assessing the suitability of exotic animals for live import into Australia. This agreement will facilitate the use of information and tools in this report for scientific-based risk assessment in informing decisions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
|Publisher||Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre|
|Institution||The Bureau of Rural Sciences|
|Region||Australia - national|
|Documents||Risk Assessment models report 2008