Amy Yackel Adams, Ph.D.
Amy began working for the USGS while obtaining her master and doctorate degrees in ecology starting in 1997. She is a research ecologist and principal investigator for the Invasive Reptile Program, and studies population biology with a focus on applied research of invasive organisms (snakes, lizards, small mammals). Yackel Adams’ recent research has focused on detectability of Brown Treesnakes, quantifying the impact of Brown Treesnakes on lizard populations, enhancing rapid response detection of invasive species, modeling rapid response search duration, and population estimation of small mammals in the Pacific.
- PhD, Ecology, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 2005
- MS, Ecology, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 1999
- BS, Resource Conservation, Forestry, University of Montana, 1986
Science and Products
Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.
This project involves ongoing development of tools for the detection and capture of invasive reptiles in Florida, with an emphasis on Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) and Black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae). The goals are to reduce the risk of reptile invasions in high-value resources such as Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys, to access early detection methods of...
Scientists with the USGS Brown Treesnake Project conduct research on this snake species, including control tool development and testing, ecological impacts, and early detection methods. USGS holds Brown Treesnake Rapid Response Team training courses on Guam throughout the year to develop the skills needed to effectively respond to snake sightings in island environments. Training covers snake...
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.
On an island largely devoid of native vertebrate seed dispersers, we monitored forest succession for seven years following ungulate exclusion from a 5-hectare area and adjacent plots with ungulates still present.
Analysis of population change and movement using robust design removal data
In capture-mark-reencounter studies, Pollock’s robust design combines methods for open populations with methods for closed populations. Open population features of the robust design allow for estimation of rates of death or permanent emigration, and closed population features enhance estimation of population sizes. We describe a similar design,...Link, William A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Hostetter, Nathan J.
Habitat type and structure affect trap capture success of an invasive snake across variable densities
Detection represents an important limitation of accurately estimating population size, abundance, and habitat suitability for wildlife, which can be especially true for cryptic animals. Moreover, for reptiles, juveniles are often less likely to be detected than later life stages. In the case of invasive species, preventing false negatives early in...Nafus, Melia G.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Klug, Page E.; Rodda, Gordon H.
Modeling the distributions of tegu lizards in native and potential invasive ranges
Invasive reptilian predators can have substantial impacts on native species and ecosystems. Tegu lizards are widely distributed in South America east of the Andes, and are popular in the international live animal trade. Two species are established in Florida (U.S.A.) - Salvator merianae (Argentine black and white tegu) and Tupinambis teguixin...Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Hayes, Mark; Fitzgerald, Lee A.; Yackel, Amy; Falk, Bryan; Collier, Michelle; Bonewell, Lea; Klug, Page; Naretto, Sergio; Reed, Robert
Assessment of two external transmitter attachment methods for Boiga irregularis (Brown Treesnakes)
No abstract available.Robinson, Charlotte J.; Viernes, Marijoy C.; Reed, Robert; Yackel, Amy; Nafus, Melia G.
Experimental landscape reduction of wild rodents increases movements in the invasive brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis)
Experimental studies evaluating the effects of food availability on the movement of free-ranging animals generally involve food supplementation rather than suppression. Both approaches can yield similar insights, but we were interested in the potential for using food suppression for the management and control of invasive predators, in particular,...Christy, Michelle; Savidge, Julie A.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Gragg, James E.; Rodda, Gordon H.
Salvator merianae (Argentine Tegu). Attempted Predation.
No abstract available.Hanslowe, Emma; Calafiore, Charles V.; Sykes, Kathryn N.; Van Ee, Noah; Falk, Bryan; Yackel, Amy; Reed, Robert
Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change
The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011...Knuffman, Lekha; Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.
Extremes of heat, drought and precipitation depress reproductive performance in shortgrass prairie passerines
Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it is likely to exacerbate many identified threats to animal populations. In recent decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American bird species, a loss thought to be due to habitat loss and fragmentation and changing agricultural practices. Climate change...Conrey, Reesa Y.; Skagen, Susan K.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.
Phrynosoma hernandesi (Greater Short-Horned Lizard). Commensalism
Commensalism is a relationship between two organisms whereby one benefits without negatively affecting the other. Like other horned lizards, Phyrnosoma hernandesi feeds primarily on ants, but will take other insects (Powell and Russell 1983. Can. J. Zool. 62:428–440). Here we describe apparent com-mensalism between P. hernandesi and Lark Buntings...Yackel, Amy; Adams, Rod D.; Skagen, Susan K.; Martin, Daniel J.
Heterodon nasicus (plains hog-nosed snake) diet
No abstract available.Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Martin, Daniel J.; Adams, Rod D.
Detection rates of geckos in visual surveys: Turning confounding variables into useful knowledge
Transect surveys without some means of estimating detection probabilities generate population size indices prone to bias because survey conditions differ in time and space. Knowing what causes such bias can help guide the collection of relevant survey covariates, correct the survey data, anticipate situations where bias might be unacceptably large...Lardner, Bjorn; Rodda, Gordon H.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Savidge, Julie A.; Reed, Robert N.
Stability of detectability over 17 years at a single site and other lizard detection comparisons from Guam
To obtain quantitative information about population dynamics from counts of animals, the per capita detectabilities of each species must remain constant over the course of monitoring. We characterized lizard detection constancy for four species over 17 yr from a single site in northern Guam, a relatively benign situation because detection was...Rodda, Gordon H.; Dean-Bradley, Kathryn; Campbell, Earl W.; Fritts, Thomas H.; Lardner, Bjorn; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Reed, Robert N.