Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

Spatial Optimization of Invasive Species Management in New York

September 2017 - August 2020


Participating Agencies

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Managing invasive species across large areas often requires multiple objective decisions involving numerous species with a wide range of biological characteristics, impacts to valued goods and services, and a large number of treatment options. Although there have been advancements in models informing the management of invasive species to reduce their impacts, few approaches are available that address the issue of spatially optimizing the allocation of treatments for multiple species subject to a budget constraint and that explicitly considers difficult tradeoffs. Structured decision making provides a framework for informing such complex decisions that is robust, transparent, and values-focused. We are using a structured decision making approach to aid invasive species management decisions, and are developing a novel decision tool that mangers can use to identify where and which treatments to apply for multiple invasive species that accounts for species-specific impacts, invasive pathways, and treatment feasibility. We are applying our approach to the management of invasive species in New York, considering alternatives for prevention, surveillance, control, and education. We are working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)and leaders from the 8 NY Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). We are developing a tool that builds on the work of NY Heritage Program, NYSDEC, and others to help invasive species managers prioritize management actions based on species, areas, and projects statewide, with flexibility to tailor actions at the regional level. Ultimately, our approach will guide managers in determining which species should prioritized, where those species should be managed, and the best approach to managing them. We will also include metrics of treatment feasibility into the prioritization to ensure management dollars are well spent.