National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)
Brown Treesnake Research at NWRC
Native bird populations were absent from all but the northern third of Guam by 1970. Today, of the 12 native species of forest birds on Guam, only the Mariana Crow, the island swiftlet and the Micronesian starling survive in the wild, with the crow population on the verge of extinction. Other birds have been taken into captive breeding programs. Bat populations on Guam have declined along with the bird populations. In fact, most of the island’s native terrestrial vertebrates have been extirpated. A major cause of the decline of these species is an introduced predator, the brown treesnake. The treesnake, native to Australia, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Indonesia, was most likely accidentally introduced to Guam through post World War II cargo shipments.
NWRC has received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Interior to develop methods to manage brown treesnake populations and prevent brown treesnakes from leaving Guam. Management of the brown treesnake, through the development of integrated strategies, is aimed at preventing its dispersal through cargo; containing incoming snakes at destinations; reclaiming areas on Guam for reintroduction of native wildlife; protecting endangered species and other wildlife, improving public health; and protecting power stations and other sensitive locations from intrusion. To achieve these aims, brown treesnake research efforts at NWRC encompass development of aerial broadcast for snake population management, artificial baits to improve efficacy, irritants to drive snakes out of cargo, and trapping and interdiction methods.
Flickr Brown Treesnake Photos
Project Leader: Dr.
William C. Pitt,
Hawaii Field Station
P.O. Box 10880
Hilo, HI 96721
Automated Aerial Broadcasts
Repellents and Irritants