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Development of control tools for invasive pythons in Greater Everglades ecosystems

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Metadata:


Identification_Information:
Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Robert Reed

Gordon Rodda; Kristen Hart

Publication_Date: 2009
Title:
Development of control tools for invasive pythons in Greater Everglades ecosystems
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: project
Online_Linkage: <https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/index.php?project_url=pythons>
Description:
Abstract:
This project will focus on designing and assessing the efficacy of several trap types for capturing Burmese Pythons, with the goal of applying results to control of pythons in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Key Largo, and elsewhere.
Purpose:
The Burmese Python (Python molurus) is native to south and southeast Asia, and is very popular in the international live animal trade. A burgeoning invasive population of these snakes, likely originating from released pets, is now present and expanding in the greater Everglades ecosystem. This population is continuing its northward expansion at a rapid pace, and has already moved well beyond the boundaries of National Park Service (NPS) lands. The recent discovery of a Burmese Python on Key Largo containing two Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed Key Largo woodrats implies that the python is able to cross saltwater, and may threaten to colonize the rest of the Florida Keys. While the existence of high-density populations of a large-bodied invasive predator is of obvious conservation concern, only slight progress has been made towards development of appropriate control tools for Burmese Pythons. Multiple state and federal agencies have expressed the urgent need for control tool development, with several requests for assistance from Everglades National Park and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Key Largo is home to two endemic ESA-listed small mammals (Key Largo woodrat and Key Largo cotton mouse) that are potentially vulnerable to invasion by pythons, and several pythons containing Key Largo woodrats have been found on Key Largo thus far. By initiating control efforts on Key Largo as well as conducting trap efficacy trials and control efforts in mainland habitats with higher densities of pythons, this study will result in a more robust sample size of captured snakes, facilitating more rigorous data analysis and prescriptions for python control with respect to trapping.

Time_Period_of_Content:
Time_Period_Information:
Range_of_Dates/Times:
Beginning_Date: 2007
Ending_Date: 2011
Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Status:
Progress: In Work
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: As needed
Spatial_Domain:
Bounding_Coordinates:
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -81.5
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -80.25
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 26.25
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 25
Keywords:
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Theme_Keyword: biology
Theme_Keyword: ecology
Theme_Keyword: invasive species
Theme_Keyword: pythons
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ISO 19115 Topic Category
Theme_Keyword: biota
Theme_Keyword: environment
Theme_Keyword: inlandWaters
Theme_Keyword: 002
Theme_Keyword: 007
Theme_Keyword: 012
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
Department of Commerce, 1995, Countries, Dependencies, Areas of Special Sovereignty, and Their Principal Administrative Divisions, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 10-4, Washington, DC, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Place_Keyword: United States
Place_Keyword: US
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987, Codes for the identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the outlying areas of the United States, and associated areas (Federal Information Processing Standard 5-2): Washington, DC, NIST
Place_Keyword: Florida
Place_Keyword: FL
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
Department of Commerce, 1990, Counties and Equivalent Entities of the United States, Its Possessions, and Associated Areas, FIPS 6-3, Washington, DC, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Place_Keyword: Broward County
Place_Keyword: Collier County
Place_Keyword: Miami-Dade County
Place_Keyword: Monroe County
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Geographic Names Information System
Place_Keyword: Everglades National Park
Place_Keyword: Key Largo
Place_Keyword: Big Cypress National Preserve
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Place_Keyword: Central Everglades
Place_Keyword: SW Big Cypress
Place_Keyword: Florida Keys
Place_Keyword: Greater Everglades region
Taxonomy:
Keywords/Taxon:
Taxonomic_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Taxonomic_Keywords: animals
Taxonomic_Keywords: pythons
Taxonomic_System:
Classification_System/Authority:
Classification_System_Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Department of the Interior - U.S. Geological Survey Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

Publication_Date: 2000
Title: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Database
Other_Citation_Details:
Retrieved from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, <http://www.itis.gov>.
Online_Linkage: <http://www.itis.gov>
Taxonomic_Procedures: unknown
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Kingdom
Taxon_Rank_Value: Animalia
Applicable_Common_Name: animals
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Phyllum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Chordata
Applicable_Common_Name: chordates
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Subphyllum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Vertebrata
Applicable_Common_Name: vertebrates
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Reptilia
Applicable_Common_Name: reptiles
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Squamata
Applicable_Common_Name: serpents
Applicable_Common_Name: snakes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Suborder
Taxon_Rank_Value: Serpentes
Applicable_Common_Name: snakes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Infraorder
Taxon_Rank_Value: Alethinophidia
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Pythonidae
Applicable_Common_Name: pythons
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Python
Applicable_Common_Name: pythons
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Python molurus
Applicable_Common_Name: Indian Python
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints: none
Point_of_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Robert Reed
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address:
Fort Collins Science Center

2150 Centre Avenue, Building C

City: Fort Collins
State_or_Province: CO
Postal_Code: 80526
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 970 226-9464
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 970 226-9230
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: reedr@usgs.gov
Data_Set_Credit:
Project personnel include: Skip Snow, Ron Rozar, Frank J. Mazzotti, Michael Cherkiss, and Scott Goetz
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Reed, R. N.

Rodda, G. H.

Publication_Date: 2009
Title:
Giant constrictors: biological and management profiles and an establishment risk assessment for nine large species of pythons, anacondas, and the boa constrictor
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: report
Series_Information:
Series_Name: USGS Open File Report
Issue_Identification: 2009-1202
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: Reston, VA
Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
Other_Citation_Details: accessed as of 8/1/2011
Online_Linkage: <http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1202/pdf/OF09-1202.pdf>

Data_Quality_Information:
Logical_Consistency_Report: unavailable
Completeness_Report:
Demographic, diet, and ecological data will be collected on all Burmese Pythons captured in traps and during other field activities (all pythons will be humanely euthanized after capture)
Lineage:
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
During FY07-08, we concentrated our work on:

1. Developing specifications and schematics for traps 2. Identification of preferred contractors for trap fabrication, and contracting for production of prototype traps 3. Locating suitable mainland locations for trap deployment in areas with existing Burmese Python populations 4. Fabricating and deploying traps, including replicated arrays of traps with various configurations for increasing trap success for Burmese Pythons but reducing bycatch of non-target species 5. Fieldwork to detect and control an incipient population of pythons on Key Largo using multiple detection methods (trapping, visual surveys, etc.) 6. Collecting demographic, diet, and ecological data on all Burmese Pythons captured in traps and during other field activities (all pythons will be humanely euthanized after capture)

Process_Date: 2008
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
We proposed erection of a 10'x10' shed at ENP, in which trap entrance designs could be systematically tested using pythons collected from the field. The shed was erected by cooperators and a limited number of research trials were conducted in FY08. We anticipate that sample sizes will increase now that the bugs have been worked out of this novel experimental arena, and we have plans for some specific trials in the shed. For example, we received funding from FWS to produce prototype metal traps in FY09 and we intend to film the responses of pythons in the shed to variations of these prototypes before settling on a final design for deployment.

In FY08 we also provided technical assistance to cooperators on construction and deployment of python traps in mainland areas

We plan to use to construct, deploy, and test additional mainland traps in FY09 and in out-years so as to demonstrate our commitment to amassing a trap-success dataset in occupied habitat.

Finally, NPS and University of Florida (UFL) personnel have recently constructed a 1-ha enclosure at ENP to hold a number of pythons, and this enclosure is intended as a semi-natural habitat for additional trap trials and other aspects of python biology and control. We intend to actively participate in the design of these trials.

Our project on Key Largo allowed significant progress in the following areas:

1. Development of specifications and schematics for traps 2. Fabrication and deployment of traps (N=59) and 50 m drift fences (N=4) 3. Identification of suitable mainland locations for trap deployment in areas with existing Burmese Python populations, especially along the US-1 corridor and other obvious invasion pathways to Key Largo. 4. Initiation of intensive fieldwork to detect and control an incipient population of pythons on Key Largo using alternative detection methods (visual surveys, road surveys, etc.) 5. Collection of data on non-target captures, and devising means to reduce bycatch of non-targets via escape hatches for small species, alternative trap entrance designs, etc.

Process_Date: 2008
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
FY09 goals included the following:

1. Construction and deployment of 60 python traps for use in mainland trap testing

2. Initiatiation of a mainland trap trial (~6,000 trap-days) for invasive pythons in the Frog Pond area, focusing on assessing efficacy of several trap designs

3. Field-tested two variations on box traps and one type of collapsible trap to assess relative efficacy

4. Offered technical assistance and invasive snake expertise to efforts involving the trap-testing shed and 1-ha enclosure (to the extent possible given labor considerations - the field trap trial above will take precedence over other activities).

5. Interacted regularly with Kristen Hart to integrate USGS efforts on invasive species in South Florida and present a USGS consensus on research priorities to cooperators, clients, and policy makers

6. Pursued more detailed and more frequent communication with cooperators from NPS and UFL so as to result in quality science products, including institution of regular conference calls and formal proposals for projects with input from all cooperators

7. Worked with cooperators to increase the rate of publication of science products relating to invasive pythons and their impacts on South Florida ecosystems

8. Be available to cooperators for consultation, proposal preparation, manuscript review, and other needs related to maintaining high quality scientific guidance for python research and control

9. Spend 32 PI-days in Florida

Process_Date: 2009
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Proposed activities for FY10 include the following:

1. Analyze data from first mainland trap trial (see above), complete a full report to funding agencies, submit for journal publication

2. Provide material support for, and participate in, organized search efforts for Northern African Pythons (P. sebae) in west Miami, with the goal of eradicating this possibly-established species before it spreads

3.Apply trap improvements resulting from FY09 trap design developments and controlled testing to deployed traps on mainland and on Key Largo

4. Initiate at least one additional mainland trap trial/trap deployment with collaborators (~8,000 trap-days), sites TBD, with experimental design guided by results of first trap trial

5. Field-test at least two new variations on trap designs to assess relative efficacy, including evaluation of drift fences as a means of increasing capture rates

6. Collaborate with cooperators to produce at least two manuscripts on pythons for submission to peer-reviewed outlets

7.Be available to cooperators for consultation, proposal preparation, manuscript review, and other needs related to maintaining high quality scientific guidance for python research and control

8. Spend at least 30 PI-days in Florida

Process_Date: Unknown
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Proposed activities for FY11 include the following:

1. Complete second mainland trap trial, analysis and publication of results

2. Apply trap improvements resulting from FY09-10 field trials to deployed traps anywhere in the range or suspected range of introduced giant constrictors

3. Deploy and check at least 25 traps in one or more areas of high conservation value (e.g., wood stork rookeries, hardwood hammocks, etc); areas TBD with input from resource protection and management agencies

4. Produce a report summarizing the state of knowledge of available means of detecting, capturing, and reducing populations of introduced giant constrictors in the U.S, including relative efficacy of traps vs. alternative control techniques, implications for management of Burmese Pythons as well as other invasive giant constrictors and ESA-listed species, and directions for future development of control tools

5. Be available to cooperators for consultation, proposal preparation, manuscript review, and other needs related to maintaining high quality scientific guidance for python research and control

6. Collaborate with cooperators to produce at least two manuscripts on pythons for submission to a peer-reviewed journal

7. Spend at least 30 PI-days in Florida

Process_Date: Not complete
Process_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Robert Reed
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address:
Fort Collins Science Center

2150 Centre Avenue, Building C

City: Fort Collins
State_or_Province: CO
Postal_Code: 80526
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 970 226-9464
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 970 226-9230
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: reedr@usgs.gov

Spatial_Data_Organization_Information:
Indirect_Spatial_Reference: Greater Everglades ecosystems

Metadata_Reference_Information:
Metadata_Date: 20110801
Metadata_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Heather Henkel
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address: 600 Fourth Street South
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 727 803-8747 ext 3028
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 727 803-2030
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: sofia-metadata@usgs.gov
Metadata_Standard_Name:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata Part 1: Biological Data Profile
Metadata_Standard_Version: FGDC-STD-001.1999
Metadata_Access_Constraints: none
Metadata_Use_Constraints:
This metadata record may have been copied from the SOFIA website and may not be the most recent version. Please check <https://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata> to be sure you have the most recent version.

This page is <https://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata/sflwww/pythons.html>

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Generated by mp version 2.8.18 on Mon Aug 01 12:01:20 2011