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 purpose of the USGS Everglades Research Offices is to implement applied research that improves control and management of established or emerging invasive reptiles that threaten the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.

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 for these and other species in Florida. Research includes improving basic understanding of their ecology and behavior that may lead to the identification of potential avenues of control, as well as development of effective traps and visual searching techniques. Additionally, research seeks to integrate novel methods for detection, such as environmental DNA sampling methods, 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 feeding behavior, gut contents, and other relevant topics.

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