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Ecological traps for large-scale invasive species control: predicting settling rules by recolonising American mink post-culling

Melero, Y., Cornulier, T., Oliver, M. K. and Lambin, X. (2018) Ecological traps for large-scale invasive species control: predicting settling rules by recolonising American mink post-culling. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55 (4). pp. 1769-1779. ISSN 0021-8901

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13115


1. Management programs worldwide seeking to reduce the density of invasive species must overcome compensatory processes, such as recolonisation by dispersers from non- or partially-controlled areas. However, the scale and drivers of dispersal in such context are poorly known. 2. We investigated the dispersal patterns of American mink reinvading 20,000 km2 of their non-native range following a culling programme led by citizen conservationists. Using multinomial models, we estimated the contributions of density dependence, proxies for patch quality and distance from the natal patch on mink settlement. 3. Seventy seven percent of mink dispersed and settled in non-natal patches. Dispersal distances were large with settlement probabilities only reduced by half at ~60 km, and 20% of mink dispersing > 80 km. 4. Females were more attracted to patches of high quality mostly found at low altitudes. Males favoured patches with intermediate current densities and consistently high quality. Synthesis and applications. Predicting post-culling recolonisation by a non-native mobile carnivore over large spatial scale could was using information on relative densities obtained during management interventions largely implemented by citizen conservationists. This was made possible by a monitoring component designed to feed into the adaptive management process implemented in this project. High mink mobility dictates management should take place on very large spatial scales to minimise reinvasion from un-controlled areas. Both males and females were attracted to patches that were previously consistently occupied, providing a degree of predictability to patterns of recolonisation. Targeting control to patches attractive to immigrant mink requires knowledge of current mink density. Creating so-called ecological traps in the face of ongoing immigration from peripheral areas provides a promising tool to effectively control mobile invasive species.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:83094
Publisher:British Ecological Society


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