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Brown Treesnake Reproductive Inhibition

Research into reptilian contraception as a whole is relatively new, however, an NWRC scientist is now studying snake reproduction in hopes of developing reproductive inhibitors. An initial hurdle to overcome was getting the snakes to reproduce in captivity. Once that was accomplished, a better understanding of reproductive activity was needed before effective contraceptive baits could be developed.

For example, nothing was known about when the snakes would breed, whether females were breeding all the time, whether males were always reproductively capable, or whether there was a seasonal breeding period when all the females and males came into breeding at the same time.

Studies have showed that only about 14% of the female brown treesnakes are in reproductive condition at any one time, and they apparently breed throughout the year. All male brown treesnakes, on the other hand, are capable of being reproductively active most of the year.

Contraceptive control, like the use of toxicants, will necessitate a mechanism for delivering a contraceptive agent to brown treesnakes, probably orally. An effective bait attractant will also be needed for delivery. Applications of contraceptive methods most likely would be used in an integrated approach with toxic baits.

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