Improving conservation outcome on Norfolk Island – is a bioeconomic model suitable? Overview of bioeconomic models for land-based threatened species conservation on islands

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Abstract

There is a disproportionate number of threatened species on islands in Australia, and the impacts of management options need to be considered alongside their uncertainty and costs. Conservation decision-making is a complex process involving many moving parts, and there are multiple tools that have emerged from decision-making frameworks to help with the process. When faced with a complex multi-variable dynamic system, bioeconomic models can greatly inform conservation management. A bioeconomic model, the bridge between the underlying framework and a context-specific tool, incorporates biophysical, economic and social components to generate predictions of population dynamics, threats, management options and costs while it explicitly handles uncertainty and remains transparent, user-friendly, and intuitive. We aim to look at how bioeconomic models have contributed to threatened species conservation on islands, and whether it is suitable for conservation on Norfolk Island. We started by providing background on the early origins of bioeconomic models in conservation. We then explored five broad themes and analysed ten bioeconomic models in threatened species conservation on islands between 2004 and 2024. All bioeconomic models were related to decision-making surrounding invasive species management, roughly half were stochastic, two had spatial components, two included a social component, and two were applied on the ground. To support the implementation of the threatened species recovery plan on Norfolk Island, we propose a stochastic bioeconomic simulation model. This builds on earlier work that produced systematic estimates for the cost of threat management and species recovery on Norfolk Island and will aid in answering the research question: "How management costs, threats and target outcomes (values/threatened species) will vary when management actions are altered".
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusUnpublished - 2024

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