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Newly emergent and future threats of alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems

June 21, 2001

Although the devastating effects of established alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems are generally well recognized by the avian conservation community, we raise the under appreciated issue of effects of incipient and future invasions. Although special attention to Pacific bird species “on the brink” is to a certain extent appropriate and necessary, a comparable focus on stopping new invasions appears desperately needed. All indications suggest that introductions will escalate with the trend toward ever increasing commerce and unrestricted trade unless stronger preventative measures are implemented very soon. The threat to Pacific island avifaunas from the brown tree snake (Bniga irregularis) is well-known, but as many as several hundred of the world’s snake species, some of which are repeatedly smuggled illegally as pets, might have similar impacts on native birds if transported to Pacific islands. We touch upon a sampling of obviously severe potential future threats, with the hope of raising awareness and resolve to fix the current woefully inadequate system for prevention of and rapid response to new invasions.

Publication Year 2001
Title Newly emergent and future threats of alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems
Authors Lloyd L. Loope, Francis G. Howarth, Frederick Kraus, Thane K. Pratt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Studies in Avian Biology
Index ID 70176960
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center