Dr. Shane Siers

Contact Information
Title: Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist, Field Station/Project Leader
Address: NWRC Hawaii Field Station, 210 Amau’ulu Road, Hilo, HI 96720
Telephone: (808) 932-4751
Email: shane.r.siers@aphis.usda.gov
Research Project: Methods and strategies to manage invasive species impacts to agriculture, natural resources, and human health and safety
Ph.D. in Ecology, 2015. Department of Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Biology (FWCB) and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE), Colorado State University, Microgeographic and ontogenetic variability in the ecology of invasive Brown Treesnakes on Guam, and effects of roads on their landscape-scale movements
M.Sc. in Biology, 2006. Department of Biology (Ecology, Evolution & Systematics), University of Missouri, St. Louis, Assessing ecological correlates of avian disease prevalence in the Galápagos Islands with GIS and remote sensing

Graduate Certificate in Tropical Biology and Conservation, 2006. International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri–St. Louis

B.Sc. in Biology, 2004. University of Massachusetts–Boston, Individual major: Zoo & Museum Sciences

Areas of Expertise
Invasive species behavior, biology, and ecology; wildlife ecology; conservation biology; movement ecology; foraging ecology; island ecology; development of methods and tools for invasive species management; chemical control of invasive vertebrates; island rodent eradication; quantitative ecology; Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University. 2017 – Present
International Experience
Guam – Invasive Brown Treesnake research, 2006 to present.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan, Rota, Tinian) – Lizard surveys, Brown Treesnake early detection and rapid response
Madagascar – Dry tropical forest fragmentation and landscape genetics of lemurs
Galapagos – Ecological correlates of avian pathogens (poultry, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins)
Current Research
I am a Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist and the Field Station/Project Leader at the USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) National Wildlife Research Center’s (NWRC) Hawaii Field Station in Hilo, Hawaii. I oversee a team of seven to ten federal employees to accomplish my research program that is focused on preventing damage caused by invasive vertebrates (primarily small mammals, birds, and reptiles) on U.S. islands throughout the Pacific.
Introductory Paragraph
I lead the NWRC Project “Methods and Strategies to Manage Invasive Species Impacts to Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Health and Safety.” The research generally focuses on reduction of damage caused by small invasive vertebrates within Hawaii, Guam, and other U.S. possessions within the tropical Pacific. More specific objectives include:
  1. Development and evaluations of tools and techniques for preventing rodent damages, including research associated with island rodent eradications;
  2. Development of tools to reduce invasive mongoose damages on islands;
  3. Identification of Rose-ringed Parakeet damages, distribution, and management solutions on Kauai, Hawaii; and
  4. Methods and strategies for interdiction and control of invasive Brown Treesnakes (BTS) on Guam.

The scope of this research ranges from small-scale technical evaluation of the efficacy of control tools on an individual animal level (e.g., cage toxicity trials of rodenticides, assessment of the efficacy of lures and toxicants for snakes of varying size classes) up to the population/landscape level (BTS suppression through hand and aerial baiting), community level (snake-rodent interactions) and ecosystem level (matters associated with small-island rodent eradications through aerial toxicant application). The diversity of taxa, habitats, scales, methods, and strategies associated with these applied studies requires that we maintain a multidisciplinary skillset and flexibility of approach. We engage in research that involves the physiology, development, pathology, behavior, sensory ecology, and toxicology of animals as well as ecological interactions and environmental health. The myriad research questions we ask require a diversity of approaches and methods, from literature reviews to computer models, analytical chemistry, cage trials, small-scale field trials, and landscape-scale experimental and operational interventions. We often use traditional wildlife research methods such as trapping, radio telemetry, biomarkers, and commercial game cameras, but we also develop and evaluate novel products and devices such as pesticide formulations, custom camera triggering devices, and – at the extreme – research and development of an automated bait manufacturing and aerial delivery system for landscape-scale Brown Treesnake control.


Clark, L., C. Clark, and S. Siers. 2018. Brown tree snakes methods and approaches for control. pgs. 107-134. In: W.C. Pitt, J.C. Beasley, and G.W Witmer, editors. Ecology and Management of terrestrial vertebrate invasive species in the United States. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 403 pp.

Niebuhr, C. N., S. Jarvi, S. R. Siers, in press. Definitive hosts of rat lungworm in Hawaii: current status and future directions. Proceedings of the 28th Vertebrate Pest Conference. Rohnert Park, California. 26 February – 1 March 2018

Shiels, A.B., W.P. Bukoski, and S.R. Siers. 2017. Diets of Kauai's invasive rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri): evidence of seed predation and dispersal in a human-altered landscape. Biological Invasions 20:1449-1457. doi: 10.1007/s10530-017-1636-5

Siers, S. R., W. C. Pitt, J. D. Eisemann, L. Clark, A. B. Shiels, C. S. Clark, R. J. Gosnell, and M. C. Messaros. In press. In situ evaluation of an automated aerial bait delivery system for landscape-scale control of invasive brown treesnakes on Guam. In: Proceedings of the 2017 Island Invasives Conference (D. Veitch, ed; peer-reviewed). IUCN, Dundee, Scotland

Siers, S.R., D.K. Foster, T.M. McAuliffe, A.R. Berentsen and K. Rex. 2018. Rodenticide application strategies for intertidal rat habitats.. Wildlife Research 45(1): 82-91. doi:10.1071/WR17131

Shiels, A. B., W. P. Bukoski, S. R. Siers, 2017. Diets of Kauai’s invasive rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri): evidence of seed predation and dispersal in a human-altered landscape. Biological Invasions. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10530-017-1636-5

Siers, S.R., J.A. Savidge, and R.N. Reed. 2017. Quantile regression of microgeographic variation in population characteristics of an invasive vertebrate predator. PLoS ONE 12(6):e0177671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177671

Siers, S.R., J.A. Savidge, and R.N. Reed. 2017. Ontogenetic and ecological variation in invasion risk of Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam. Management of Biological Invasions 8(4):469-483. doi: 10.3391/mbi.2017.8.4.02

Siers, S. R, J.A. Savidge, 2017. Restoration Plan for the Habitat Management Unit, Naval Support Activity Andersen, Guam. Prepared for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas. 236 pp.

Siers, S.R., R.N. Reed, and J.A. Savidge. 2016. To cross or not to cross: modeling wildlife road crossings as a binary response variable with contextual predictors. Ecosphere 7(5):e01292 

Siers, S. R., 2015. Microgeographic and ontogenetic variability in the ecology of invasive Brown Treesnakes on Guam, and effects of roads on their landscape-scale movements. Dissertation. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Holldorf, E.T., S.R. Siers, J.Q. Richmond, P.E. Klug, and R.N. Reed. 2015. Invaded Invaders: Infection of invasive brown treesnakes on Guam by an exotic larval cestode with a lifecycle comprised of non-native hosts. PLoS One 10(12):e0143718.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143718

Siers, S. R., J. A. Savidge, and R. N. Reed, 2014. Invasive Brown Treesnake movements at road edges indicate road crossing avoidance. Journal of Herpetology 48

Siers, S. R., G. A. Swayze, and S. P. Mackessey, 2013. Spectral analysis reveals limited potential for enhanced-wavelength detection of invasive snakes. Herpetological Review 44:56–58