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Estimating the Cost of Invasive Species in Florida

July 10, 2014

FDACS Chief Economist to explain cost/benefit analysis used to evaluate action against invasive species

Division of Plant Industry

Division of Plant Industry

On Thursday, July 17, Sergio Alvarez, chief economist in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office and Policy and Budget, will explain how the state estimates and manages the cost of invasive species in Florida, using tree termites as an example. He will speak at 1:30 p.m. at Ziegler Hall in a session that is open to the public.

While some non-native species are harmless or even beneficial, many others pose significant threats to ecosystems, agriculture and human health. Making sound policy decisions regarding management of invasive species requires information on the potential benefits and costs to society that result from control and eradication measures versus simply allowing the invasive species to become established and spread. Sound policy dictates that such species be eradicated if the costs of an eradication program are less that or equal to  the damage anticipated from the species becoming established and spreading.

Dr. Alvarez will use the case of the Conehead, or tree termite, invasion in South Florida to provide an overview of the decision process.

The School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) and the Emerging Threats to Forests research group are sponsoring Dr. Alvarez’s lecture.

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