Aquatic invasive species (AIS) present a significant challenge to natural resource managers because of the uncertainty associated with assessing potential impacts and manageability. First, AIS need to be evaluated for the risk they pose to the ecology and economy of Massachusetts. Second, the management options for preventing, controlling, or eliminating AIS need to be considered. Ultimately, the potential impacts of a species and the applicable management options must inform a rapid response. Because detailed risk assessments are not always possible, a Species Evaluation Questionnaire was designed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) to overcome informational limitations.
The purpose of the Species Evaluation Questionnaire is two-fold. First, impact and management criteria help compile relevant information into a single document. Second, by scoring criteria, the potential impact and manageability of a species is better quantified. Together the qualitative and quantitative information on the questionnaire can help decision makers have a more robust discussion as they assess the best course of action for a particular species, provide a rationale for that decision, more effectively compare species, and ultimately allocate limited resources to deal with invasive species effectively.
If you are interested in using the Species Evaluation Questionnaire, please contact us for a copy and information on completing it.