Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Determinants of establishment success for introduced exotic mammals

Mary Bomford A , Rebecca O. Darbyshire A B and Lucy Randall A

A Bureau of Rural Sciences, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: rebecca.darbyshire@brs.gov.au

Wildlife Research 36(3) 192-202 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR08055
Submitted: 11 April 2008  Accepted: 10 February 2009   Published: 15 April 2009


We conducted comparisons for exotic mammal species introduced to New Zealand (28 successful, 4 failed), Australia (24, 17) and Britain (15, 16). Modelling of variables associated with establishment success was constrained by small sample sizes and phylogenetic dependence, so our results should be interpreted with caution. Successful species were subject to more release events, had higher climate matches between their overseas geographic range and their country of introduction, had larger overseas geographic range sizes and were more likely to have established an exotic population elsewhere than was the case for failed species. Of the mammals introduced to New Zealand, successful species also had larger areas of suitable habitat than did failed species. Our findings may guide risk assessments for the import of live mammals to reduce the rate new species establish in the wild.


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