The cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) was the only endemic salmonid species across most of the western United States, and it has severely declined largely due to introduction and bioinvasion by non-native salmonid species. However, the ecological, social, and economic consequences of cutthroat trout declines and replacement by non-native salmonid species are relatively minor, and measurable affects on ecosystem function are rare. Restoration efforts for cutthroat trout involve removal or control of bioinvasive salmonid species, but such efforts are costly, ongoing, and resisted frequently by segments of society. Cutthroat trout declines are of little concern to much of the public because they are valued similarly to non-native salmonids, and non-native salmonid species frequently have higher recreational values. Due to the low values placed on cutthroat trout relative to non-native salmonid species, net economic benefits of preserving cutthroat trout are equal to or less than those for non-native salmonids. Cutthroat trout provide a classic case of the consequences of biological invasion; however, other native species are faced with similar issues. We suggest that management agencies establish realistic goals to preserve native species within the context of ecological, social, and economic issues. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Bioinvasive species and the preservation of cutthroat trout in the western United States: Ecological, social, and economic issues