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Evaluating the potential impacts of invasive species. Chris Baddeley Policy Manager Biosecurity New Zealand. Overview. Purpose of evaluation Method of evaluation Presentation of results Examples Painted apple moth Didymo Other New Zealand examples. Purpose of impact evaluation.

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evaluating the potential impacts of invasive species

Evaluating the potential impactsof invasive species

Chris Baddeley

Policy Manager

Biosecurity New Zealand


Purpose of evaluation

Method of evaluation

Presentation of results


  • Painted apple moth
  • Didymo
  • Other New Zealand examples
purpose of impact evaluation
Purpose of impact evaluation

Contributes to decisions on:

  • whether to respond to a new or existing pest
  • the scale of any response

Forms a key part of the business case for new funding from Government (or industry) for a pest response

purpose of impact evaluation1
Purpose of impact evaluation

In New Zealand pest response decisions based on:

  • technical feasibility
  • economic justification
  • priority for action

Impact evaluation needed to help determine economic justification and priority for action.

Also used for communications purposes.

method of evaluation
Method of evaluation

Assess quantifiable pest impacts in the absence of Government intervention (to determine potentially avoidable costs)

Develop scenarios around the likely range of impacts. Key factors are:

  • any likely limits on

geographical spread

  • likely rate of spread
  • impacts by sector
methods of evaluation
Methods of evaluation

Research what is known about the pest (often not a lot for new invaders)

Use experts panels to:

  • bridge knowledge gaps (best expert opinion)
  • provide advice/opinions on likely rate of spread and geographical limits to spread
  • develop scenarios of potential sector impacts
  • form expert views on likely pest impacts (forecasting methods such as Delphi process)
methods of evaluation1
Methods of evaluation

Also use expert panels to:

  • form views on feasible options for response
  • form views of likely effectiveness of treatments

Some requirements for an expert panel:

  • knowledge of all affected sectors
  • expertise in all relevant disciplines
  • effective teamwork, listening, building on views of others
  • no conflicts of interest/maintain confidentiality
methods of evaluation2
Methods of evaluation

Impacts can be:

  • reduced productivity
  • damage to natural values (eg. wildlife)
  • damage to social values (eg. recreation

and amenity)

  • new or increased pest treatment costs
  • the need to adapt to the pest (eg. resistant crops, less preferred species)
  • increased management costs

Generally exclude impacts that are too small or too uncertain from numerical assessment (including intangibles).


methods of evaluation3
Methods of evaluation

Good resource information is the key to reliable estimation of impacts

  • forest estate models or inventories
  • urban trees databases
  • agricultural and horticultural statistics
  • commodity values and trade data
  • value mapping

Also information on likely adaptive behaviour by industry, landowners and the public

methods of evaluation4
Methods of evaluation

Can undertake some short-term research to gain further information:

  • host plant testing
  • life-cycle modeling
  • ecological research
  • dispersal rates (sterile insects release, pheromone development)
presentation of results for decision making
Presentation of results for decision-making

Impacts generally determined as a stream of costs stretching into the future

Impacts generally presented as a “present value” (discounted). Need to determine time-scale for assessment. Options include:

  • point where additional impacts are not material
  • a pre-determined time (investment return period)
  • time until pest occupies is full potential range
  • time until the pest is next expected to establish (re-incursion)
presentation of results for decision making1
Presentation of results for decision-making

Results can be expressed as:

  • present values over given period (eradication)
  • annual value once range fully occupied (on-going management).


  • sensitivity analysis used to show influence of different assumptions
  • inclusions and exclusion need to be clearly stated along with any key qualitative information
example painted apple moth teia anartoides
Example – Painted Apple Moth (Teia anartoides)

Limits on geographical spread None

Rate of spread: Throughout Auckland region in ten years

Throughout rest of New Zealand in fifteen years

Impacts modeled

  • urban households (additional spending on spraying)
  • urban golf courses and school ground (additional spending on spraying)
  • public land in urban areas (accelerated tree removal and replacement)
  • plantation forests (spraying costs and reduced growth rate)
  • horticulture – apples (increased spraying)
example painted apple moth
Example – Painted Apple Moth

Distribution of present value total impacts 2002/03 to 2021/22: New Zealand

example painted apple moth1
Example – Painted Apple Moth

Impacts not modelled (small or too uncertain)

  • impacts on natural forests
  • impacts of soil and water conservation
  • impacts on market access
  • impacts on human health
example didymo
Example - Didymo

Limits on geographical spread Potentially affects a high percentage of high-order river reaches in all regions

Rate of spread: Throughout NZ within 7 years of detection

Impacts modeled:

  • commercial eel fisheries
  • water intakes
  • drinking water
  • local recreation values
  • tourism expenditure
  • local and national existence values
  • existence values associated with endangered native species
example didymo4
Example - didymo

Impacts not assessed:

  • cultural values including customary fisheries
  • alluvial gold mining
  • exports of used fishing and boating gear
  • human health (eye irritation and injuries for slipping on rocks)