USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version

August 2007


Published in: Witmer, G. W., W. C. Pitt, and K. A. Fagerstone, editors. 2007. Managing vertebrate invasive species: proceedings of an international symposium. USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Also available online at


Invasive pest eradication is an increasingly viable management option for conservation and wildlife managers all over the world. The list of successful rodent eradications from isolated islands continues to grow globally. Now, with the development of effective pest exclusion technologies, the opportunities for eradicating multiple species of vertebrate pests from progressively larger fragments of habitat in mainland situations are also increasing. Attempts at eradicating up to fifteen separate species of pest mammal from indigenous forest fragments protected by Xcluder™ pest proof fencing have been made on the main islands of New Zealand. These include various assemblages of multiple species of deer (Cervidae), feral pig (Sus scrofa), brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), lagomorphs, rodents and a range of other predators. At some sites, individual species remain, while at others, complete eradication of a full suite of previously present pest species has been achieved. Using the 3,400 ha Maungatautari Project as a case study, we explore critical issues associated with successful pest eradication and reinvasion management in habitats protected by pest proof fencing, including eradication methods, finding and removing survivors, monitoring and surveillance, and the behavior of reinvading pests. The transfer of the techniques successfully developed in New Zealand to other parts of the world is likely to depend as much on the regulatory environment at the management site as on the pest species present.