In this study the possibilities are studied for complete removal of muskrat from the Netherlands. The study is in Dutch, but has an appendix in English.
Three alternative strategies have been compared: a) The current strategy of year-round control at low densities b) No control, and c) Complete removal.
The study provides information showing that complete removal is effective as a strategy and practically feasible as well. The direct costs are not prohibitive, and there are no significant negative effects (including indirect financial costs).
In terms of water safety and costs, 'complete removal' is the best option compared to the other strategies. With this alternative, there are no risks for safety by burrowing muskrat anymore, no costs for repair of damage or economic damage to third parties. The control effort for the strategy 'complete removal' is clearly lower in the long term than under the year round scenario. Important benefits can also be identified in terms of animal welfare and effects on biodiversity.
The risks that can occur with complete removal are manageable, and often smaller than under the current objective.
The appendix presents a bio-economic model that was constructed to investigate under what assumptions eradication would be economically more optimal than year round control at any given equilibrium population density or no-control. This model and its result are presented in the appendix, in English.