Balancing development and biodiversity conservation presents significant challenges. One approach, biodiversity offsetting, represents “measurable conservation outcomes resulting from actions designed to compensate for significant residual adverse biodiversity impacts resulting from project development” and is a final step in a mitigation hierarchy following steps of avoidance, minimization, rehabilitation, and restoration. 

In the journal Conservation Biology, Josh Donlan and colleagues at Island Conservation present an argument for the potential for biodiversity offsetting to fund invasive species eradications on islands. Islands have disproportionately higher levels of biodiversity, threatened species, and extinctions than mainlands. Thus, they are an important focal area for high-impact conservation actions. Invasive species present a key risk to insular species and are a logical target for resource managers. For many islands, eradication of invasive species is a tractable solution and under the right circumstances represents a noteworthy opportunity for biodiversity offsetting. 

Read the paper here.

Holmes, N.D, G.R. Howald, A.S. Wegman, C.J. Donlan, M. Finklestein, B. Keitt. 2016. The potential for biodiversity offsetting to fund invasive species eradications on islands. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12641