Firn J, R Maggini, I Chades, B Walters, A Reeson, TG Martin, HP Possingham, JB Pinchancourt, R Ponce-Reyes and J Carwardine (2015) Priority threat management of invasive animals to protect biodiversity under climate change. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY 21(11):3917-3930

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Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity, and its impacts can act synergistically to heighten the severity of other threats. Most research on projecting species range shifts under climate change has not been translated to informing priority management strategies on the ground. We develop a prioritization framework to assess strategies for managing threats to biodiversity under climate change and apply it to the management of invasive animal species across one-sixth of the Australian continent, the Lake Eyre Basin. We collected information from key stakeholders and experts on the impacts of invasive animals on 148 of the region's most threatened species and 11 potential strategies. Assisted by models of current distributions of threatened species and their projected distributions, experts estimated the cost, feasibility, and potential benefits of each strategy for improving the persistence of threatened species with and without climate change. We discover that the relative cost-effectiveness of invasive animal control strategies is robust to climate change, with the management of feral pigs being the highest priority for conserving threatened species overall. Complementary sets of strategies to protect as many threatened species as possible under limited budgets change when climate change is considered, with additional strategies required to avoid impending extinctions from the region. Overall, we find that the ranking of strategies by cost-effectiveness was relatively unaffected by including climate change into decision-making, even though the benefits of the strategies were lower. Future climate conditions and impacts on range shifts become most important to consider when designing comprehensive management plans for the control of invasive animals under limited budgets to maximize the number of threatened species that can be protected.