Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs

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Abstract

Introduced species represent an accelerated global change, and current efforts to manage them, though effective in particular situations, are not controlling the general problem. In the US, this failure is the result of insufficient policy, inadequate research and management funding, and gaps in scientific knowledge. Comparative policy analysis is urgently needed; the main US shortcoming is the absence of a coherent set of policies to address the entire issue, rather than individual invaders. Deliberate introductions should be more stringently regulated and risk assessments must become more predictive. Monitoring and attempts to identify new invasions (both deliberate and inadvertent) are technically feasible but not sufficiently funded and coordinated. Techniques to manage established invaders have often succeeded, but have been hamstrung by inconsistent funding. All of these problems could be improved by more fundamental research, ranging from basic natural history and simple advances in control technologies to more sophisticated ecological modeling and remote sensing techniques.

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