Fort Collins Science Center

Biological Threats and Invasive Species

Invasive, nonnative species of plants, animals, and disease organisms can quickly spread and affect nearly all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Invasive species have become one of the greatest environmental challenges of the twenty-first century in economic, environmental, and human health costs, with an estimated effect in the United States of more than $120 billion per year. The Invasive Species Science (ISS) Branch provides research and technical assistance relating to management concerns for invasive species, including understanding how these species are introduced, identifying areas vulnerable to invasion, forecasting invasions, and developing control methods. To disseminate this information, branch scientists are developing platforms to share invasive species information with DOI cooperators, other agency partners, and the public. Experts at the Fort Collins Science Center that study biological threats and invasive species also have extensive herpetological and population biology expertise that is applied to harmful reptile invaders such as the Brown Treesnake on Guam and Burmese Python in Florida.

Filter Total Items: 31
Date published: July 6, 2016
Status: Active

Control and Landscape-Scale Suppression of the Invasive Brown Treesnake

The Brown Treesnake is a highly destructive reptile species that has extirpated many native species of birds, bats, and lizards from the U.S. Territory of Guam. For more than two decades branch scientists with the Invasive Reptile Project have developed, validated, and tested the feasibility of Brown Treesnake control and suppression at various spatial scales.

Date published: July 5, 2016
Status: Active

Resource for Advanced Modeling (RAM)

Branch scientists have developed the Resource for Advanced Modeling (RAM), a modeling facility for collaborative research both within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and with the wider research community. The facility provides a collaborative working environment for up to 20 scientists from within the USGS and the wider research community. There are networked, wireless computing facilities...

Date published: July 5, 2016
Status: Active

Cruising to Improve the Detection of Burmese Pythons in Everglades National Park

It is not uncommon to see researchers cruising around Everglades National Park (ENP) on what has been a routine basis for the past ten months. Every evening, interns pack into a Chevy Volt for their shift assisting the U.S. Geological Survey in conducting Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) nighttime surveillance through observational surveys. This effort to detect non-native snakes,...

Date published: July 4, 2016
Status: Active

Developing Ecological Forecasting Models for Invasive Species

Forecasts of where species might be and what impacts they may have are necessary for management of invasive species.  Researchers at FORT are using various approaches to provided needed information to resource managers to combat invasive plants, animals, and disease organisms.

Date published: July 3, 2016
Status: Active

Giant Constrictor Snakes in Florida: A Sizeable Research Challenge

Since the mid-1990s, several species of non-native, giant constrictor snakes, such as Burmese pythons and boa constrictors, have surfaced in localities throughout southern Florida. Several are known or suspected to be breeding and appear to be spreading northward. Increasingly, media and other reports of sightings or encounters with these animals have emphasized the dangers they could impose...

Date published: July 1, 2016
Status: Active

Surveillance for the Presence of White-Nose Syndrome in the Bat Community at El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

In 1999 and 2000, FORT conducted a survey of bats at El Malpais National Monument and adjacent lands. During this study, several species of bats were documented, including some that are known to use caves or lava-tube formations as roosts. In the winter of 2006–2007, the fungus-caused disease known as “white-nose syndrome” (WNS) began devastating populations of hibernating bat species that use...

Date published: June 25, 2016
Status: Active

Invasive Species in the Everglades – An Opportunity to Engage Youth in Science

Invasive reptiles like the Burmese python (Python bivittatus) and Black-and-White Tegu Lizard (Tupinambis merianae) are exerting tremendous harm on Everglades ecosystems, but these problematic species present an excellent opportunity to engage the next generation in science. Since entering into an agreement with Everglades National Park in late 2013, the Invasive Species Science Branch of the...