Large numbers of invasive (nonnative) animals have become established
in the continental United States, its territories, and nearby countries
and islands. These include fish (grass carp, tilapia, walking catfish),
reptiles and amphibians (brown treesnake, cane toad, Caribbean tree
frog), birds (myna, monk parakeet, mute swan, starling, pigeon) and
mammals (feral livestock, dogs, and cats; mongooses; rats; and nutria).
Invasive vertebrate species cause substantial damage to crops and livestock,
property, and natural resources (including threatened and endangered
species, biodiversity, and ecosystem health), and pose a disease hazard
to humans and livestock.
There is a need to develop methods and strategies for invasive vertebrate
species so that scientists can (1) assess the risks of an introduction
occurring, (2) detect and monitor populations, (3) manage or eliminate
populations, (4) mitigate the adverse effects where invasive species
cannot be effectively controlled, and (5) prevent future introductions.
Methods developed must be effective, economical and environmentally
benign. In most cases, an integrated strategy, using several methods
(cultural, physical, chemical, etc.), will be required to effectively
manage or eradicate the invasive vertebrate population.
Effective, target-specific delivery systems for control agents (toxicants,
fertility control, vaccines) are an important, if not critical, need
for successful strategies. In some cases, basic research on the biology
and ecology of the species will be needed. Species of major concern
for NWRC and all of Wildlife Services include starlings, pigeons, feral
swine, nutria, foxes, cats, and rats.The research examined in this new
project will focus on invasive rodent species because of the significant
threat they pose and because they can serve as a model for other vertebrates.
Project Leader: Dr.
Gary W. Witmer,
4101 LaPorte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Factsheet on Research Project
Goal and Objectives
Vertebrate Invasive Species International Symposium August 7-9,