Invasive species - Management
Invasive alien species such as Spathodea campanulata (African tulip tree) threaten biodiversity in the Pacific islands as well as the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of Pacific peoples. Despite the potential magnitude of these threats, our scientific understanding of the ecology and management of the African tulip tree is nascent. In this paper, we use data from novel surveys of households and communities to document the direct and direct impacts of African tulip tree in Fiji, focusing on those impacts which may be monetised. We use the same data to describe current management approaches and then describe a state-of-the-science, ‘‘integrated’’ management approach that employs different strategies for trees of different ages and sizes. These two approaches are then compared in a comprehensive cost–benefit analysis. We find strong arguments for pursuing the integrated management approach, which derives monetised benefits of $3.7 for each $1 spent. However, the less costly current approach is also strictly preferred to the baseline, ‘‘do nothing’’ approach, with monetised benefits of $2.7 for each $1 spent. Results of this analysis clearly show that managing African tulip tree is cost effective, even without explicitly considering biodiversity, culture, and other non-monetised benefits of control.
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