Research Document - 2007/038
Risk assessment of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) to Lake Simcoe, Ontario: A Quantitative Biological Risk Assessment Tool (QBRAT) case study
By Cudmore, B., and M.A. Koops
A Quantitative Biological Risk Assessment Tool (QBRAT) was developed by Marten Koops and Becky Cudmore (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Burlington, Ontario) to provide risk assessors a tool to more quantitatively assess the biological risk of aquatic invasive species. To evaluate how well the tool works on a variety of taxa, various degrees of data quality and quantity and geographic scales, several case studies were produced. One of these case studies was conducted to assess the biological risk associated with round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) to Lake Simcoe, Ontario. Round goby was first collected in a tributary to Lake Simcoe in 2004, and concerns were expressed about the potential impact of this species to the biological resources of the lake. Therefore, an assessment on the potential for arrival, survival, establishment, spread and impact was conducted using QBRAT. The results indicated that the total biological risk would be categorized as high – a critical impact that would require proper management or adaptation. The impact of widespread populations seemed to be the driver of this conclusion, suggesting that research should be directed towards predicting and understanding the potential for widespread distribution of round goby in Lake Simcoe. Also, as the risk substantially increased with the potential for widespread distribution, a recommendation was made to direct management efforts towards slowing, or decreasing, the spread of round goby within the lake. The case study indicated that QBRAT was a useful took for evaluating biological risk of an aquatic invasive species, especially in highlighting areas where further work can be done to strengthen the assessment and areas where resources could be directed to decrease risk. Several recommendations were made about the tool, including the suggestion that the opportunity to categorize impacts be provided as an option.
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