Testing the Bomford (2008) models

The updated Bomford 2008 models have been further explored by the Department of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) to confirm that they reasonably predict risks across a full range of exotic species and threat levels. Risk assessments for Australia were conducted for a range of taxa (mammals, reptiles, amphibians and one bird), from species internationally recognised as invasive to species perceived to present low risks, and including:

  • species not in Australia
  • species not in Australia but detected entering
  • captive or pet species in Australia but not in the wild
  • captive or pet species in Australia and detected in the wild on some occasions
  • ‘sleeper’ or other species with isolated populations in the wild in Australia including livestock species
  • species well established in the wild in Australia.

Mammals and birds were assessed for the risk they pose if introduced to Australia, by calculating VPC Threat Categories. These categories incorporate risk of establishing populations in the wild, public safety risk, and risk of becoming a pest (eg causing agricultural damage, competing with native fauna, etc). Bomford’s Australian Bird and Mammal Model was used for these assessments.

Reptiles and amphibians were assessed for their risk of establishing wild populations in Australia. This is because there is insufficient reliable information upon which to quantitatively assess the risk of becoming a pest and risk to public safety. The Australian Reptile and Amphibian Model and two versions (3-factor, 7-factor) of the Australian Bird and Mammal Model were used.

The full report (Massam M, Kirkpatrick W and Page A (2010). ‘Assessment and prioritisation of risk for forty introduced animal species’. Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra) and an Executive Summary, are available for download here or from the link on the right hand side of this page.

This report includes both VPC-endorsed Threat Categories (in the tables below) and some more experimental threat categories (found on the next page).

VPC-endorsed Threat Categories

VPC-endorsed risk assessments for the following species can be downloaded from the links below:


Aonyx cinereus
Oriental small-clawed otter
Axis axis
chital deer
Cervus elaphus
red deer
Dama dama
fallow deer
Dorcopsis luctuosa
grey dorcopsis
Helarctos malayanus
Malayan sun bear
Leontopithecus rosalia
golden lion tamarin
Lepus europaeus
Lynx lynx
Eurasian lynx
Mustela erminea
Oryctolagus cuniculus
European rabbit
Ovis aries
domestic sheep
Prionailurus viverrinus
fishing cat
Suricata suricatta
Symphalangus syndactylus
Ursus arctos
brown bear
Vulpes vulpes
red fox


Struthio camelus


Bitis arietans
puff adder
Boa constrictor
boa constrictor
Ramphotyphlops braminus
flowerpot snake
Terrapene ornata
Ornate box turtle
Trachemys scripta
pond slider


Ambystoma mavortium
western tiger salamander
Bufo marinus
cane toad
Bufo melanostictus
black-spined toad
Chirixalus romeri
Romer’s tree frog
Kaloula pulchra
Asiatic painted frog
Pyxicephalus adspersus
African bullfrog
Xenopus laevis
African clawed frog

Last updated: September 29, 2011
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