Quantifying the Establishment Likelihood of Invasive Alien Species Introductions Through Ports with Application to Honeybees in Australia

This article uses the example of honeybees being introduced through Australian ports to demonstrate the need to quantify the establishment likelihood of invasive alien species introductions through ports. The authors stress that the cost of an uncontrolled incursion of invasive alien species (IAS) arising from undetected entry through ports can be substantial, and knowledge of port-specific risks is needed to help allocate limited surveillance resources. The authors use a mixed-effects model to estimate incursion likelihood, as a strategy to overcome the typical lack of data on the approach rates for IAS. They define “establishment likelihood” of a port of interest as the likelihood of an IAS establishing within the port or surrounding environment. The model is applied to the arrival in Australia of the European (Apis mellifera) and Asian (A. cerana) honeybees, along with the invasive parasites of biosecurity concern they host (e.g., Varroa destructor). The results show how skewed the establishment likelihood is, with one-tenth of the ports accounting for 80% or more of the likelihood for both species. These results can be used by biosecurity agencies who must allocate finite resources to the surveillance of maritime ports. The authors conclude with a nod to the potential difficulty in accessing the required data for interceptions, shipping records, and species behavior.


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  • Accession Number: 01601762
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 24 2016 4:22PM