Developing a Pest Animal Management Strategy

SLE310 Ecology of Pest Plants and Animals, 2017
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ASSIGNMENT 2 – Group assignment
Developing a Pest Animal Management Strategy
Due date: 5pm Friday 19th May (submit in group Dropbox)
Value: 30%
Format: Written report (2000 words – not including references, tables or figure
captions), 12pt font
Group size: 4 per group (maximum!)
Management strategies/plans often are developed by land managers, consultants or
other parties to address pest issues. To be effective, management strategies must
consider the human dimensions of the issue, the ecology of the pest species and the
ecosystem/site, logistics and effectiveness of control actions, timeline for
implementation, the cost-benefits of management, and include a monitoring component.
In many cases, impacts may not have been quantified, or there are other significant
knowledge gaps. Management may therefore need to be adaptive and also include
research components.
Your task
Working in a group of 4, you will develop a management strategy to address a specific
pest issue.
Groups must form and decide on a topic by week 4. This is your responsibility.
Group work is an important component of working life. Through this assignment you will
gain skills in people and time management. This is an assignment that requires all
group members to be involved in discussions of management options for their topic. I
expect all group members to contribute equally. In any instance where a group member
has not made a fair contribution to the submitted work, they may be awarded a different
mark to the rest of the group. This would be decided after discussion with all members
of the group.
Please see me early if you have concerns about your group.
SLE310 Ecology of Pest Plants and Animals, 2017
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1. Choose your pest issue
Your group should decide on a scenario that is of interest to all group members. Please
choose from the following:
 Black rats (Rattus rattus) impacting on little penguins on Phillip Island.
 Non-native predators (cats and foxes) impacting on the Broad-toothed rat at Mt
Baw Baw.
 Deer damaging alpine bogs (you may have to reduce the scale of the
management area (e.g. limit to the Falls Creek Alpine Resort).
 Little ravens depredating nests of little penguins on Phillip Island.
 House mouse damage to grain-crops for a 450-ha property near Yanac, Victoria
(i.e. in the Wimmera)
 Structural damage caused by sulphur-crested cockatoos on homes in Upwey,
 Koala defoliation of Eucalyptus trees on French Island
2. Gather the background information
Before you can develop a pest management strategy, you must gather background
information on:
(i) the human dimensions of your issue. Does your issue involve an iconic species?
Is there likely to be opposition or support for management?
(ii) relevant legislation, policies, and strategies;
(iii) stakeholders;
(iv) impacts of the pest and management methods;
(v) ecology of the pest species;
(vi) the location (e.g., what site-specific factors might you need to consider in
management? terrain, land tenure etc);
(vii) effective control methods;
(viii) monitoring methods;
(ix) research needs;
(x) anything else that is relevant.
Now that you have gathered the background information, you can develop your pest
management strategy. You need to consider numerous aspects including the timeline
for management, how you might integrate research into the strategy, how stakeholders
might be involved, educational needs, and cost of the strategy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT contact land managers. Although stakeholder
consultation is typically part of developing a pest strategy, remember that the scenario
is not necessarily real and that land managers are busy people.
SLE310 Ecology of Pest Plants and Animals, 2017
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3. Develop the strategy
This requires working together as a group! This is not a task that can be divided
between group members for independent work. You need to brainstorm your ideas and
decide on a practical, ecologically-based approach that considers all of the background
Assume that the ‘client’ who has asked you to develop this strategy will fund or seek
funds to implement the strategy. You may need to provide a range of options with a
range of costs and associated returns.
4. Write the report
Your report MUST be concise with your information and ideas presented clearly. The
word limit is 2000. However, information in tables and appendices is not included in the
word count. Use them appropriately.
Below is a suggested format for reporting your strategy. You may decide that other
sections need to be included. Search the web for examples of other management
strategies (plant and animal) and check their formats.
1. Introduction
 Aims of the strategy – must be clearly defined!
 Description of the issue
 Human dimensions
 Stakeholders
 Legislation and policies
2. Ecology of the species
3. Research needs
4. Actions to achieve aims (i.e. the actual strategy)
 Control actions (include who should perform them)
 Monitoring
 Timeline
 Budget
5. Potential issues and strategies to address these issues (including any human
6. References
Your report should include references to peer-reviewed literature and you may also
reference media articles for describing social issues associated with the problem, and
government websites for legislation, policies and programs. Any referencing system
may be used but be consistent throughout your report.

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