This paper provides a ‘long view’ of the eradication and control of invasive mammals by reviewing the management of 24 mammalian species that have been introduced into Great Britain since the Neolithic period and have subsequently established free-living populations in the wild. The approach provides examples of the issues faced when managing populations and examines some of the lessons that can be learned from successes and failures. The species are covered in the order of introduction, with the control/eradication of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), coypu (Myocastor coypus) and American mink (Mustela vison) considered in more detail. The species accounts are set within the context of commitments for the control of invasive alien species made by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and guidance provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Council of Europe. These have led to improvements in the process for assessing risks and co-ordinating action. However, despite some notable cases documented here, there have been few successful eradication programmes carried out in Europe. This paper argues that there is a case for building on the improved frameworks that are being developed in the United Kingdom and elsewhere and for being more ambitious with goals for the management of invasive alien species.
Control – Eradication – Great Britain – Invasive alien species – Mammals.