Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Find out more about Biological Threat and Invasive Species Research through our publications.

Filter Total Items: 304

Evaluating management alternatives for Wyoming elk feedgrounds in consideration of chronic wasting disease

Executive SummaryThe authors used decision and modeling analyses to evaluate management alternatives for a decision on whether to permit Cervus canadensis (elk) feeding on two sites on Bridger-Teton National Forest, Dell Creek and Forest Park. Supplemental feeding of elk could increase the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) locally and disease spread regionally, potentially impacting el

The effects of cheatgrass invasion on US Great Basin carbon storage depend on interactions between plant community composition, precipitation seasonality, and soil climate regime

Annual-grass invasions are transforming desert ecosystems in ways that affect ecosystem carbon (C) balance, but previous studies do not agree on the pattern, magnitude and direction of changes. A recent meta-analysis of 41 articles and 386 sites concludes that invasion by annual grasses such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L) reduces C in biomass across the Great Basin (Nagy et al., 2021). Reanalys

Social effects of rabies infection in male vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus)

Rabies virus (RABV) transmitted by the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) poses a threat to agricultural development and public health throughout the Neotropics. The ecology and evolution of rabies host-pathogen dynamics are influenced by two infection-induced behavioral changes. RABV-infected hosts often exhibit increased aggression which facilitates transmission, and rabies also leads to red

A recombinant rabies vaccine that prevents viral shedding in rabid common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus)

Vampire bat transmitted rabies (VBR) is a continuing burden to public health and agricultural sectors in Latin America, despite decades-long efforts to control the disease by culling bat populations. Culling has been shown to disperse bats, leading to an increased spread of rabies. Thus, non-lethal strategies to control VBR, such as vaccination, are desired. Here, we evaluated the safety and effic

Open removal models with temporary emigration and population dynamics to inform invasive animal management

Removal sampling data are the primary source of monitoring information for many populations (e.g., invasive species, fisheries). Population dynamics, temporary emigration, and imperfect detection are common sources of variation in monitoring data and are key parameters for informing management. We developed two open robust-design removal models for simultaneously modeling population dynamics, temp

Morbidity and mortality of Hawaiin geese (Branta sandvicensis) and Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) associated with reticuloendotheliosis virus

Only one virus, Avipox, has been documented previously in wild birds in Hawaii. Using immunohistochemistry and PCR, we found that two native threatened Hawaiian Geese (Branta sandvicensis), one with multicentric histiocytoma and the other with toxoplasmosis, and one Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) with avian pox were infected with reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV). The virus was isolate

Egg retention in wild-caught Python bivittatus in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA

Retention of eggs in oviducts beyond the normal oviposition period is a common problem for captive reptiles, but the occurrence of egg retention in wild populations is largely unknown. The Burmese python (Python [molurus] bivittatus; Kühl 1820) is an oviparous snake native to south-eastern Asia that is now established in southern Florida. From 2011–2019, invasive Burmese pythons were opportunistic

Evidence of alternative trophic pathways for fish consumers in a large river system in the face of invasion

Large rivers are susceptible to anthropogenic alteration, which can result in drastic changes to their functional ecology. We evaluated spatial–temporal changes in the functional fish communities of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) using data from six study reaches. Species were classified into one of 14 feeding guilds and mass per unit effort (MPUE) was then calculated for each feeding g

Hidden in plain sight: Detecting invasive species when they are morphologically similar to native species

Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) can help mitigate and control invasive species outbreaks early on but its success is dependent on accurate identification of invasive species. We evaluated a novel outbreak in San Diego County, California of the Sonoran Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis sonorae) in order to confirm their spread as well as quantify how to better detect and potentially manage t

Controlling invasive fish in fluctuating environments: Model analysis of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in a shallow lake

Climate change can act to facilitate or inhibit invasions of non-native species. Here, we address the influence of climate change on control of non-native common carp (hereafter, carp), a species recognized as one of the “world's worst” invaders across the globe. Control of this species is exceedingly difficult, as it exhibits rapid population growth and compensatory density dependence. In many lo

Susceptibility of beavers to chronic wasting disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious, fatal, neurodegenerative prion disease of cervids. The expanding geographical range and rising prevalence of CWD are increasing the risk of pathogen transfer and spillover of CWD to non-cervid sympatric species. As beavers have close contact with environmental and food sources of CWD infectivity, we hypothesized that they may be susceptible to CWD pri

Face-off: Novel depredation and nest defense behaviors between an invasive and a native predator in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA

We describe several photo-documented novel interactions between intraguild predators in southern Florida—the native bobcat (Lynx rufus) and the invasive Burmese python (Python bivittatus). Over several days we documented a bobcat's depredation of an unguarded python nest and subsequent python nest defense behavior following the return of both animals to the nest. This is the first documentation of