USGS Everglades Research Offices - Florida

Science Center Objects

The Daniel Beard Center in Everglades National Park provides the base for most of the field work done on the control of invasive reptiles by USGS Fort Collins Science Center staff. The team works in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and other parts of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem focusing on, among other species of concern, control and containment of the Burmese python and Argentine tegu.

The USGS Everglades Research Offices is a station for USGS scientists, affiliated personnel, and cooperators interested in research topics related to established or emerging invasive reptiles in the Everglades. Invasive reptiles in the Everglades represent a significant threat to restoration and preservation of the unique Everglades ecosystem. Among the best- known invaders is the Burmese python, which is a large snake that is associated with drastic declines of several mammals. The Argentine Black and White Tegu and other large-bodied reptiles established in southern Florida are also likely to pose future threats to native species. The potential impacts of these species are, however, poorly understood.

USGS scientists conduct research into detection and control of Burmese pythons, Argentine Black and White tegus, and other species in Florida. Research includes enhancing a basic understanding of their life history, ecology, and behaviors that can lead to the identification of potential avenues for management, as well as facilitate much needed population estimates. Additionally, research seeks to identify vital rate characteristics that will aid in the integration of novel methods for detection, as many of these species are cryptic and difficult to detect in the wild. Efforts also include research into native species that may be vulnerable to populations of invasive reptiles through examination of seasonal and demographic dietary trends, reproductive timing and tempo, and other relevant topics.

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