Status: Completed

Start date: 1 April 2018

Completion date: 30 June 2022

Project code: P01-I-005

Species: Multiple

Download project report (PDF, 2.88 MB)


Eradicating pests early in an invasion takes intensive investment, but can offer high potential returns. This project aimed to improve agencies’ abilities to make successful, cost-effective and evidence-based eradication decisions.
The project team created an eradication response framework to help managers decide how to proceed, when to stop and when to declare success. The work analysed, framed, then developed online tools for the three stages:

  1. Feasibility: using information about the pest, the incursion and control methods, the tool works out whether eradication will be feasible for its cost (EradSim tool).

Key achievements


  • Developed free online tools tailored for end users with easy graphical interface.
  • Tools developed for three phases of eradication response (assessment, eradication and evaluation).


  • Increased cost-effectiveness of eradication efforts.


  • Reduced total costs for containment and eradication programs.
  • Reduced total impact costs of invasive species new and existing incursions.
  • Reduced total environmental damage from current and future incursions of exotic invasive species.
  • Increased capability of invasive species managers.

Project team

Dr Dave Ramsey

Project Lead | ARI

Dr Dean Anderson


Dr Michael Scroggie

Landcare Research NZ

Dr Peter Caley


A/Prof Phill Cassey

University of Adelaide

Project partners

The project received funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

Project updates

February 2021

Prototype web-based decision tools for guiding decisions around pest eradications have been completed. Three tools are in Beta testing and are currently available for conducting, initial assessments, progress towards eradication and assessing proof of absence.
Significant progress has also been made on an additional web-based app for assessing the feasibility and cost of eradication. Users input potential scenarios representing different eradication strategies and the app calculates their likelihood for effecting eradication and the likely cost.

August 2020

The project has developed a prototype web-based tool to undertake “proof-of-absence” confirmation of eradication success. It was road-tested using data provided by New Zealand project partners and a working version should be ready by late 2020. The project also provided technical advice to Biosecurity Qld regarding the Red imported fire ant program, with prototype software used to provide an estimate of optimal amount of ant surveillance required to declare freedom in management zones.

February 2020

A prototype web-based interface to undertake “proof-of-absence” confirmation of eradication success has been road-tested at a workshop, using data provided by biosecurity managers. The workshop provided valuable feedback for future workshops and improvements for the tool.
The project leader continues to provide technical advice to Biosecurity Queensland and the red imported fire ant (RIFA) program around surveillance and the feasibility of eradication. Prototype software was developed to provide an estimate of optimal amount of ant surveillance required to declare freedom in management zones.
Data analysis of case studies of both vertebrate and invertebrate species is almost complete. This provides enough context to begin development of a prototype software package, which the project aims to have completed in the next 6 months. The software will then be road-tested in a further series of workshops.

August 2019

A workshop held in April 2019 substantially advanced the theoretical framework underpinning eradication tools.
The project team has also provided expert advice and analysis to stakeholder groups conducting pest eradication programs nationally and internationally. Biosecurity QLD was engaged to provide advice and technical analyses around the eradication of Red-imported fire ants in the greater Brisbane area.
Development of a user-friendly web-based software interface to undertake “proof of absence” confirmation during the final phase of pest eradication programs is underway. It will be road tested with stakeholders through a series of workshops in the coming year, with the first scheduled for October 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The user-friendly graphical interface will enable stakeholders to analyse their own surveillance data. The prototype of this model will be available for users to upload their data, specify appropriate parameters and run the model.

February 2019

The project team have started engaging with stakeholders to obtain data on current or recently completed eradications.

They have also commenced initial development of software tools which will be developed over the next 18 months.

Scientific publications & reports

Anderson DP, Pepper MA, Travers S et al (2022) Confirming the broadscale eradication success of nutria (Myocastor coypus) from the Delmarva Peninsula, USA Biol Invasions 24, 3509–3521.

Barnes B, Giannini F, Parsa M and Ramsey D (2021) Inferring species absence from zero-sighting records using analytical Bayesian models with population growth Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12(11), 2208-2220.

Barnes B, Parsa M, Giannini F and Ramsey D (2022) Analytical Bayesian models to quantify pest eradication success or species absence using zero-sighting records Theoretical Population Biology 144, 70-80.

Dean P, Anderson I, Rouco C, Latham MC and Warburton B (2022) Data and code for understanding spatially explicit capture-recapture parameters for informing invasive animal management available at the Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research Datastore.

Gormley, AM, Anderson DP, Lustig, A, Latham CM, Howard, S, Scroggie, M and Ramsey DSL (2021) Quantitative Decision Support for Eradication: A Primer. A report for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, Canberra, Australia.

Ramsey DSL, Campbell KJ, Lavoie C, Macdonald N and Morrison SA (2022) Quantifying the probability of detection of wild ungulates with the Judas technique Conservation Biology 36(4).

Ramsey et al (2022) Maximising the success of pest eradication programs using decision support tools poster