Journal article

Finding needles (or ants) in haystacks: predicting locations of invasive organisms to inform eradication and containment

Daniel Schmidt, Daniel Spring, Ralph Mac Nally, James R Thomson, Barry W Brook, Oscar Cacho, Michael McKenzie



To eradicate or effectively contain a biological invasion, all or most reproductive individuals of the invasion must be found and destroyed. To help find individual invading organisms, predictions of probable locations can be made with statistical models. We estimated spread dynamics based on time-series data and then used model-derived predictions of probable locations of individuals. We considered one of the largest data sets available for an eradication program: the campaign to eradicate the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) from around Brisbane, Australia. After estimating within-site growth (local growth) and intersite dispersal (saltatory spread) of fire ant nests, we modeled ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant scheme (DP0771672). The authors acknowledge the financial and other support provided by the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program and participants at workshops held at the Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre and Monash University. Data were provided by Bob Bell, Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre. Dennis O'Dowd provided timely advice and many helpful points in discussion. This is publication number 189 from the Australian Centre for Biodiversity.