Using structured eradication feasibility assessment to prioritize the management of new and emerging invasive alien species in Europe

Olaf Booy*, Pete A. Robertson, Niall Moore, Jess Ward, Helen E. Roy, Tim Adriaens, Richard Shaw, Johan Van Valkenburg, Gabrielle Wyn, Sandro Bertolino, Olivier Blight, Etienne Branquart, Giuseppe Brundu, Joe Caffrey, Dario Capizzi, Jim Casaer, Olivier De Clerck, Neil E. Coughlan, Eithne Davis, Jaimie T.A. DickFranz Essl, Guillaume Fried, Piero Genovesi, Pablo González-Moreno, Frank Huysentruyt, Stuart R. Jenkins, Francis Kerckhof, Frances E. Lucy, Wolfgang Nentwig, Jonathan Newman, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Sugoto Roy, Uwe Starfinger, Paul D. Stebbing, Jan Stuyck, Mike Sutton-Croft, Elena Tricarico, Sonia Vanderhoeven, Hugo Verreycken, Aileen C. Mill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Prioritizing the management of invasive alien species (IAS) is of global importance and within Europe integral to the EU IAS regulation. To prioritize management effectively, the risks posed by IAS need to be assessed, but so too does the feasibility of their management. While the risk of IAS to the EU has been assessed, the feasibility of management has not. We assessed the feasibility of eradicating 60 new (not yet established) and 35 emerging (established with limited distribution) species that pose a threat to the EU, as identified by horizon scanning. The assessment was carried out by 34 experts in invasion management from across Europe, applying the Non-Native Risk Management scheme to defined invasion scenarios and eradication strategies for each species, assessing the feasibility of eradication using seven key risk management criteria. Management priorities were identified by combining scores for risk (derived from horizon scanning) and feasibility of eradication. The results show eradication feasibility score and risk score were not correlated, indicating that risk management criteria evaluate different information than risk assessment. In all, 17 new species were identified as particularly high priorities for eradication should they establish in the future, whereas 14 emerging species were identified as priorities for eradication now. A number of species considered highest priority for eradication were terrestrial vertebrates, a group that has been the focus of a number of eradication attempts in Europe. However, eradication priorities also included a diverse range of other taxa (plants, invertebrates and fish) suggesting there is scope to broaden the taxonomic range of attempted eradication in Europe. We demonstrate that broad scale structured assessments of management feasibility can help prioritize IAS for management. Such frameworks are needed to support evidence-based decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6235-6250
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Issue number11
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded in part by Newcastle University (UK) and the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO; Belgium). We thank Maurits Vandegehuchte (Agency for Nature and Forest) for providing practical and financial support to the workshop and the Belgian Science Policy Office for providing the venue. As well as three anonymous peer reviewers who helped to improve the manuscript. Over 34 European experts contributed their time and expertise through scoring and attendance at meetings and workshops. O.B. and N.M. were funded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency; F.E. was supported by the Austrian Science Foundation FWF (Grant I2086-B16). P.G.-M. was supported by Darwin plus, DPLUS074 ?Improving biosecurity in the SAUKOTs through Pest Risk Assessments'.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • contingency planning
  • invasive non-native species
  • long-term management
  • management prioritisation
  • NNRM
  • prevention
  • risk analysis
  • risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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