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Beyond the lamppost: Optimal prevention and control of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii

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  • Burnett, Kimberly M.
  • D'Evelyn, Sean
  • Kaiser, Brooks A.
  • Nantamanasikarn, Porntawee
  • Roumasset, James A.

Abstract

We develop an integrated model for the prevention and control of an invasive species. The generality of the model allows its use for both existing and potential threats to the system of interest. The deterministic nature of arrivals in the model enables clear examination of the tradeoffs inherent when choosing between prevention and control strategies. We illuminate how optimal expenditure paths change in response to various biological and economic parameters for the case of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii. Results suggest that it is more advantageous to spend money finding the small population of snakes as they occur than attempting to prevent all future introductions. Like the drunk that looks for his keys only where the light is, public policy may fail to look "beyond the lamppost" for snakes that have already arrived but have not yet been detected. Actively searching for a potential population of snakes rather than waiting for an accidental discovery may save Hawaii tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in future damages, interdiction expenditures, and control costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Burnett, Kimberly M. & D'Evelyn, Sean & Kaiser, Brooks A. & Nantamanasikarn, Porntawee & Roumasset, James A., 2008. "Beyond the lamppost: Optimal prevention and control of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 66-74, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:66-74
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margolis, Michael & Shogren, Jason F. & Fischer, Carolyn, 2005. "How trade politics affect invasive species control," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 305-313, February.
    2. Buhle, Eric R. & Margolis, Michael & Ruesink, Jennifer L., 2005. "Bang for buck: cost-effective control of invasive species with different life histories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 355-366, February.
    3. Burnett, Kimberly M. & Kaiser, Brooks A. & Pitafi, Basharat A.K. & Roumasset, James A., 2006. "Prevention, Eradication, and Containment of Invasive Species: Illustrations from Hawaii," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-15, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaiser, Brooks A. & Burnett, Kimberly M., 2010. "Spatial economic analysis of early detection and rapid response strategies for an invasive species," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 566-585, November.
    2. Rout, Tracy M. & Moore, Joslin L. & Possingham, Hugh P. & McCarthy, Michael A., 2011. "Allocating biosecurity resources between preventing, detecting, and eradicating island invasions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 54-62.
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:94:y:2017:i:c:p:23-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kimberly Burnett & Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin & James Roumasset, 2012. "Species Invasion as Catastrophe: The Case of the Brown Tree Snake," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(2), pages 241-254, February.
    5. Costello, Christopher & Quérou, Nicolas & Tomini, Agnes, 2017. "Private eradication of mobile public bads," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 23-44.
    6. Liu, Yanxu & Sims, Charles, 2016. "Spatial-dynamic externalities and coordination in invasive species control," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 23-38.
    7. repec:spr:envpol:v:20:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-017-0193-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Carrasco, Luis Roman & MacLeod, Alan & Knight, John D. & Baker, Richard & Mumford, John D., 2009. "Optimal Control of Spreading Biological Invasions: For How Long Should We Apply the Brake?," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30 - April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 50940, Agricultural Economics Society.
    9. Melstrom, Richard T., 2014. "Managing apparent competition between the feral pigs and native foxes of Santa Cruz Island," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 157-162.
    10. Linda Fernandez & Glenn Sheriff, 2013. "Optimal Border Policies for Invasive Species Under Asymmetric Information," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 27-45, September.
    11. Carrasco, L. Roman & Cook, David & Baker, Richard & MacLeod, Alan & Knight, Jon D. & Mumford, John D., 2012. "Towards the integration of spread and economic impacts of biological invasions in a landscape of learning and imitating agents," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 95-103.
    12. Carrasco, L.R. & Mumford, J.D. & MacLeod, A. & Knight, J.D. & Baker, R.H.A., 2010. "Comprehensive bioeconomic modelling of multiple harmful non-indigenous species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1303-1312, April.
    13. repec:eee:ecolec:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:44-54 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Invasive species Brown Tree Snake Boiga irregularis Prevention and control Hawaii;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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