Valuing the control of red imported fire ants in Australia using choice modelling
Invasive species create particular challenges for policy makers .Some deliberately introduced species contribute significantly to agricultural production and other purposes. However, many invasive weed and animal pests generate substantial costs through impacts on agricultural production, biodiversity, ecosystem services, infrastructure and communities. An aggressive ant species, the red imported fire ant was introduced by accident to Australia. Infestations were found in Brisbane in February 2001. Modelling suggested that the pest could invade half of Australia within 35 years if it were not controlled.). Control of the fire ant has reduced the rate of new discoveries but the ant was still not eradicated by 2009. The benefits of controlling red imported fire ants are largely non-use. These include avoiding health and environmental impacts as well as maintaining lifestyle and amenity values. In this report, these benefits are assessed using choice modelling, a non-market valuation technique.
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