1st Edition

Ecology and Management of Terrestrial Vertebrate Invasive Species in the United States

Edited By William C. Pitt, James Beasley, Gary W. Witmer Copyright 2018
    416 Pages 27 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    415 Pages 27 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    415 Pages 27 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Vertebrate invasive species are important ecologically, socially, and scientifically throughout much of the globe. However, the interdiction and options for management of invasive species are driven by localized regulation at the country or even state level and thus the management of species must be framed within that context. This book is focused around the management of invasive vertebrate species in the United States, although readers will find much of the material broadly applicable to invasive species in other regions.

    Vertebrate invasive species cause damage to agriculture, property, natural resources, and threaten human health and safety. However, most of these species occur in the United States resulting from human-mediated activities, often being released intentionally. For the first time, the wealth of scientific information about vertebrate invasive species in the United States is summarized and synthesized in a single volume to be easily accessible to ecologists and natural resource managers.

    With a focus on prominent terrestrial invasive species that have a history of policy and management and highlighting contemporary issues and management, this book consists of 18 chapters written by experts from across the United States. The first section of the book focuses on overarching policy and management topics associated with vertebrate invasive species; including biosecurity threats and risk assessment, policy and regulation, and the economics of their management. The second section provides in-depth reviews of noteworthy invasive mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. After finishing this book, the reader should understand the complexity of managing invasive species, the unique challenges that each new species may present, and the steps forward that may decrease the impact of these species on the environment, human health, and the economy.

    Introduction. Biosecurity and Risk Management. Economics of Invasive Species Damage and Damage Management. Policy and Regulation. Ecological Issues. Feeding a Hungry World: Threats to Agriculture by Invasive Vertebrate Species in the United States. Brown Tree Snakes: Methods and Approaches for Control. Burmese Pythons. Frogs (Coqui Frogs, Greenhouse Frogs, Cuban Tree Frogs, and Cane Toads). Ecology, Impacts, and Management of Invasive Rodents in the United States. Wild Pigs. Ecology of the Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) in North America. Feral Cats. Feral Goats and Sheep. European Starlings. Monk and Rose-Ringed Parakeets. Introduction History, Impacts, and Management of House Sparrows in North America. Conclusions, Challenges, and Research Needs.


    William C. Pitt is the deputy director at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the associate director of Conservation and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. He manages the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s science centers and research programs. He is responsible for the financial and facility programs, the operations of the Smithsonian–Mason School of Conservation, and SCBI’s 3200-acre conservation and research facility and the Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation, in Front Royal, Virginia. He oversees more than 220 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students from universities around the world. Pitt works passionately to improve the conservation of endangered species through collaboration, education, and research. As a researcher, he spent more than a decade researching methods to reduce the effects of invasive vertebrates on native species, mediating human–wildlife interactions, and evaluating the effects of species management in Pacific islands ecosystems. He has worked extensively as a researcher for the USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center in Hawaii. He has published more than 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and science-related publications. He earned both a PhD in Ecology and a MS in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University. He holds a BS in Fish and Wildlife Biology from the University of Minnesota. He spent 24 years in the military, working as an environmental science officer for the United States Army Reserve, where he identified and assessed potential environmental and entomological hazards to humans.

    James C. Beasley is an assistant professor at the Savannah River Ecology Lab and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. Beasley earned a BS in Wildlife Science from SUNY–Environmental Science and a MS and PhD in Wildlife Ecology from Purdue University. His research is focused on understanding the effects of anthropogenic activities on wildlife populations, ecology and management of wild pigs and other invasive species, carnivore ecology and management, and scavenging ecology. Jim is actively involved in research on these topics, both nationally and internationally, including studies on large mammal populations in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Jim is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife Society and currently serves as the chair of the research subcommittee for the National Wild Pig Task Force. He also serves as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s wildlife advisor to the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, in response to the nuclear accident that occurred in 2011.

    Gary W. Witmer is a supervisory research wildlife biologist and rodent research project leader with the USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services’ National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. He earned his PhD in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University with minors in statistics and forest management, a MS in Wildlife Ecology from Purdue University, and a MS and BS in Biology from the University of Michigan. His research focuses on resolving human–wildlife conflicts and has included ungulates, carnivores, and rodents. Most recently, he has been working on invasive species and has designed successful eradication strategies for invasive rodent species on several islands. He has also worked with a large number of native rodent species in a wide array of settings.