With colleagues at the SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management, ESSA recently completed a study for the BC Ministry of Environment, to create a framework for the ecological and economic analysis of invasive animal species in British Columbia. The analysis consisted of 5 case studies which were selected to represent different taxonomic groups and a range of issues. As part of a more detailed analysis, we provided preliminary estimates of the possible economic impacts for two invasive groups, the European fire ant and zebra/quagga mussels.

The closely related mussel species have not yet been observed in BC, while European fire ants have been found in some locations, mostly in southwestern BC. Under a “full occupancy” scenario, maximum annual damages for zebra/quagga mussels and European fire ants are estimated at about $21 million and $100 million, respectively.