Biosecurity


Prevention is better than cure
The best way of protecting island environments from the impacts of invasive species is to prevent the invasive species getting to the island in the first place. This will avoid the range of impacts due to invasive species and help retain the island in its natural state. If we prevent invasions then the eradication project (the cure) will not be required - saving significant time and money.

Give the island environment time to recover
Most eradication projects are completed as part of a program of restoring the native environment of an island; the eradication is only the first part of the restoration. Keeping the island invasive-free after the eradication will give the island's environment time to recover to its natural state.

Avoid the spread of other invasives
For invasive species already on the island (but not targeted for eradication) the Biosecurity Plan needs to consider plans for preventing further introductions and how the project team is going to avoid contributing to the spread of the species throughout the island. The last thing the project team wants is to be responsible for is the spread of an invasive species at the eradication site.

Ensure the project is a success
If a suitable biosecurity plan is not implemented as part of the eradication project the likelihood of the project being a long term success is very low. The eradication operation itself may well succeed in removing all of the present individuals, but if a later invasion occurs all the good work of the operation will be rapidly undone. The fact that an island already has invasive species present is an obvious indication that there exists viable invasion pathways, and therefore the island is under continual threat of further invasions by existing and new invasive species. Failure to adequately manage this ongoing threat will result in the failure of any eradication.

Avoid transporting invasives between islands
The invasive species present will vary from island to island. Often in a group of islands, only some of the islands will have a particular species of invasive species and others will have remained invasive species-free. Visitors to an island that has invasive species must always ensure that when leaving the island they do not help to export the species off the island and act as a pathway for the invasive species to invade other islands. In eradication projects that involve several islands it is particularly important that the project team takes every precaution to avoid transporting any invasive species between islands. Beware – it is very easy for the project team to become the pathway.