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63 record(s) found.

Papers & Reports Widespread Ranavirus and Perkinsea infections in Cuban Treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) invading New Orleans, USA
Authors: N Galt; M S Atkinson; B M Glorioso; J Hardin Waddle; M Litton; Anna E Savage
Date: 2021-04-30 | Outlet: Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Papers & Reports When Introduced Prey Violates Trophic Hierarchy: Conservation of an Endangered Predator
Authors: Richard Kim; Brian J Halstead; E Routman; J Andersen
Date: 2021-03-03 | Outlet: Biological Conservation 256
Introduced species often disrupt established food webs, but some native predators can come to rely on introduced prey. Understanding the net effects of the non-natives on imperiled predators is crucial for planning conservation measures. The invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) can be prey, predator, and competitor for the critically endangered San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia). We examined the seasonal prey use of a San Francisco garter snake population that co-occurs with American bullfrogs to examine intraguild predation between these species. Juvenile and adult snakes mainly consumed native anurans instead of American bullfrogs, and this diet pattern peaked in spring, a critical foraging period for the snakes. In spring, large adult American bullfrogs also foraged heavily on native anurans and displayed a high degree of diet overlap with San Francisco garter snakes. Invasive American bullfrogs are detrimental to San Francisco garter snakes mainly through seasonal competition rather than reciprocal predation. Removal of invasive species provided further evidence that eliminating American bullfrogs can benefit San Francisco garter snakes by reducing predation pressure on their shared amphibian prey. Better understanding the interactions of invasive species with native species of conservation concern informs management practices and improves conservation outcomes.
Papers & Reports Slender salamanders (genus Batrachoseps) reveal Southern California to be a center for the diversification, persistence, and introduction of salamander lineages
Authors: E Jockusch; R Hansen; R N Fisher; D Wake
Date: 2020-08-14 | Outlet: PeerJ 8:e9599
Background. The southern California biodiversity hotspot has had a complex geological history, with both plate tectonic forces and sea level changes repeatedly reconfiguring the region, and likely driving both lineage splittings and extinctions. Here we investigate patterns of genetic divergence in two species of slender salamanders (Plethodontidae: Batrachoseps) in this region. The complex geological history in combination with several organismal traits led us to predict that these species harbor multiple ancient mitochondrial lineages endemic to southern California. These species belong to a clade characterized by fine-scale mitochondrial structure, which has been shown to track ancient splits. Both focal species, Batrachoseps major and B. nigriventris, are relatively widely distributed in southern California, and estimated to have persisted there across millions of years. Recently several extralimital populations of Batrachoseps were found in the San Joaquin Valley of California, a former desert area that has been extensively modified for agriculture. The origins of these populations are unknown, but based on morphology, they are hypothesized to result from human-mediated introductions of B. major.
Methods. We sequenced the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b from a geographically comprehensive sampling of the mitochondrial lineages of B. major and B. nigriventris that are endemic to southern California. We used phylogenetic analyses to characterize phylogeographic structure and identify mitochondrial contact zones. We also included the San Joaquin Valley samples to test whether they resulted from introductions. We used a bootstrap resampling approach to compare the strength of isolation-by-distance in both Batrachoseps species and four other salamander species with which they co-occur in southern California.
Results. The northern lineage of B. major harbors at least eight deeply differentiated, geographically cohesive mitochondrial subclades. We identify geographic contact between many of these mtDNA lineages and some biogeographic features that are concordant with lineage boundaries. Batrachoseps nigriventris also has multiple deeply differentiated clades within the region. Comparative analyses highlight the smaller spatial scales over which mitochondrial divergence accumulates in Batrachoseps relative to most other salamander species in southern California. The extralimital populations of Batrachoseps from the San Joaquin Valley are assigned to B. major based on their mitochondrial haplotypes and are shown to result from at least two independent introductions from different source populations. We also suggest that B. major on Catalina Island, where it is considered native, may be the result of an introduction. Some of the same traits that facilitate the build-up of deep phylogeographic structure in Batrachoseps likely also contribute to its propensity for introductions, and we anticipate that additional introduced populations will be discovered.
Papers & Reports OSTEOPILUS SEPTENTRIONALIS (Cuban Treefrog)
Authors: B M Glorioso; P Vanbergen; J Roy; M Walter; L Leonpacher; M Freistak
Date: 2018 | Outlet: Herpetological Review 49(1):70-71
A note on the geographic distribution of the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), describing new parish records in East Baton Rouge Parish and Lafayette Parish.
Papers & Reports Historical museum collections and contemporary population studies implicate roads and introduced predatory bullfrogs in the decline of western pond turtles
Authors: E Nicholson; S Manzo; Z Devereux; T Morgan; R N Fisher; C W Brown; R G Dagit; P Scott; H Shaffer
Date: 2020-06-12 | Outlet: PeerJ 8:e9248 DOI 10.7717/peerj.9248
The western pond turtle (WPT), recently separated into two paripatrically distributed species (Emys pallida and Emys marmorata), is experiencing significant reductions in its range and population size. In addition to habitat loss, two potential causes of decline are female-biased road mortality and high juvenile mortality from non-native predatory bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). However, quantitative analyses of these threats have never been conducted for either species of WPT. We used a combination of historical museum samples and published and unpublished field studies shared with us through personal communications with WPT field researchers (B Shaffer, P Scott, R Fisher, C Brown, R Dagit, L Patterson, T Engstrom, 2019, personal communications) to quantify the effect of roads and bullfrogs on WPT populations along the west coast of the United States. Both species of WPT shift toward increasingly male biased museum collections over the last century, a trend consistent with increasing, female-biased road mortality. Recent WPT population studies revealed that road density and proximity were significantly associated with increasingly male-biased sex ratios, further suggesting female-biased road mortality. The mean body size of museum collections of E. marmorata, but not E. pallida, has increased over the last 100 years, consistent with reduced recruitment and aging populations that could be driven by invasive predators. Contemporary WPT population sites that co-occur with bullfrogs had significantly greater average body sizes than population sites without bullfrogs, suggesting strong bullfrog predation on small WPT hatchlings and juveniles. Overall, our findings indicate that both species of WPT face demographic challenges which would have been difficult to document without the use of both historical data from natural history collections and contemporary demographic field data. Although correlational, our analyses suggest that female-biased road mortality and predation on small turtles by non-native bullfrogs are occurring, and that conservation strategies reducing both may be important for WPT recovery.
Papers & Reports OSTEOPILUS SEPTENTRIONALIS (Cuban Treefrog)
Authors: B M Glorioso; A P Steece; Z K Lemann; R Lazare; J W Beck
Date: 2016 | Outlet: Herpetological Review 47(2):249
A note on the geographic distribution of the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), describing new parish records in St. Tammany Parish and Orleans Parish.
Papers & Reports OSTEOPILUS SEPTENTRIONALIS (Cuban Treefrog)
Authors: B M Glorioso; K Macedo; B R Maldonado; C J Hillard; I N Morenc; E S Grimes
Date: 2018 | Outlet: Herpetological Review 49(4):709
A note on the geographic distribution of the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), describing a new parish record and probable establishment in St. Charles Parish.
Papers & Reports Survival estimates for the invasive American Bullfrog
Authors: P E Howell; Erin Muths; Brent H Sigafus; Blake R Hossack
Outlet: Amphibia-Reptilia
We used five years of capture mark-recapture data to estimate annual apparent survival of post-metamorphic bullfrogs in a population on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in their invaded range in Arizona, U.S.A.
Papers & Reports A statistical forecasting approach to metapopulation viability analysis
Authors: P E Howell; Blake R Hossack; Erin Muths; Brent H Sigafus; A Chenevert-Steffler; R B Chandler
Date: 2020 | Outlet: Ecological Applications 2020:e02038
Conservation of at-risk species is aided by reliable forecasts of the consequences of environmental change and management actions on population viability. Forecasts from conventional population viability analysis (PVA) are made using a two-step procedure in which parameters are estimated, or elicited from expert opinion, and then plugged into a stochastic population model without accounting for parameter uncertainty. Recently-developed statistical PVAs differ because forecasts are made conditional on models that are fitted to empirical data. The statistical forecasting approach allows for uncertainty about parameters, but it has rarely been applied in metapopulation contexts where spatially-explicit inference is needed about colonization and extinction dynamics and other forms of stochasticity that influence metapopulation viability. We conducted a statistical metapopulation viability analysis (MPVA) using 11 years of data on the federally-threatened Chiricahua leopard frog to forecast responses to landscape heterogeneity, drought, environmental stochasticity, and management. We evaluated several future environmental scenarios and pond restoration options designed to reduce extinction risk. Forecasts over a 50-yr time horizon indicated that metapopulation extinction risk was <8% for all scenarios, but uncertainty was high. Without pond restoration, extinction risk is forecasted to be 5.6% (95% CI: 0?60%) by year 2060. Restoring six ponds by increasing hydroperiod reduced extinction risk to 1.0% (0 ? 11%) in year 2060. We found little evidence that drought influences metapopulation viability when managers have the ability to maintain ponds that hold water throughout the year and are free of invasive species. Our study illustrates the utility of the spatially explicit statistical forecasting approach to MPVA in conservation planning efforts.
Papers & Reports CO-OCCURENCE OF CHIRICAHUA LEOPARD FROGS (LITHOBATES CHIRICAHUENSIS) WITH SUNFISH (LEPOMIS SPP.)
Authors: P E Howell; Brent H Sigafus; Blake R Hossack; Erin Muths
Outlet: Southwestern Naturalist 64:69-72
Invasive species are a major threat to the persistence of native species, particularly in systems where ephemeral aquatic habitats have been converted to or replaced by permanent water and predators such as fish have been introduced. Within the Altar Valley, Arizona, USA, the invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates [=Rana] catesbeianus) has been successfully eradicated to help recover Chiricahua leopard frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis). However, other non-native predators including sunfish (Lepomis spp) are present in some permanent water bodies. During four consecutive years (2014-2017) we detected both the federally-threatened Chiricahua leopard frog and sunfish at one permanent water body in the Altar Valley. This suggests that despite the potential negative effect of predatory fish on amphibians, there may be conditions where the Chiricahua leopard frog may be able to co-occur with this non-native predator. A better understanding of rare situations of co-occurrence with non-native predators may contribute to our understanding of why co-occurrence happens in some but not all systems and whether conservation strategies can be developed in situations where complete eradication of non-native predators is infeasible.
Papers & Reports The relative efficiency of native and non-native aquatic species as predators of potential disease vectors: Invasive crayfish enhance the survival of mosquitoes
Authors: G Bucciarelli; D Suh; A Davis; D Sharpton; D Roberts; H B Shaffer; R N Fisher; L Kats
Date: 2018-08-06 | Outlet: Conservation Biology
The introductions of non-native predators often reduce biodiversity and affect natural predator-prey relationships. However, non-native predators may increase the abundance of potential disease vectors (e.g. mosquitoes) indirectly through competition or predation cascades. The Santa Monica
Mountains, situated in a global biodiversity hotspot, is an area of conservation concern due to climate change, urbanization, and the introduction of non-native species. We examined the effect that non-native crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) have on an existing native predator, dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna sp.) and their mosquito larvae (Anopheles sp.) prey. We used laboratory experiments to compare the predation efficiency of both predators, separately and together, and field data on counts of dragonfly nymphs and mosquito larvae sampled from 13 local streams. We predicted a lower predation efficiency of crayfish compared to native dragonfly nymphs as well as a reduced efficiency of dragonfly nymphs in the presence of crayfish. Dragonfly nymphs were an order of magnitude more efficient mosquito predators compared to crayfish and dragonfly
nymphs suffered reduced efficiency in the presence of crayfish. Analyses of field count data showed that populations of dragonfly nymphs and mosquito larvae were strongly correlated with crayfish presence in streams, such that sites with crayfish tended to have fewer dragonfly
nymphs and more mosquito larvae. Under natural conditions, it is likely that crayfish reduce the abundance of dragonfly nymphs and their predation efficiency, and thereby, directly and indirectly, lead to higher mosquito populations and a loss of ecosystem services related to disease vector control.
Papers & Reports Introduced parasites of freshwater fish in southern California, U.S.A.
Authors: B I Kuperman; V E Matey; M L Warburton; R N Fisher
Date: 2002 | Outlet: pp. 407-411 in: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Parasitology - ICOPA X. Monduzzi Editore S.p.A. - MEDIMOND Inc., Bologna, Italy. 660 pp.
Papers & Reports Establishment of the exotic invasive Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) in Louisiana
Authors: B M Glorioso; J Hardin Waddle; L J Muse; N D Jennings; M Litton; J Hamilton; S Gergen; D Heckard
Date: 2018-04-21 | Outlet: Biological Invasions
The Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, is native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands, and is invasive in areas where it has been introduced and established in the Caribbean as well as Hawaii and Florida. Despite repeated occurrences in several states over many years, it was not believed that Cuban treefrogs had successfully established outside of Florida in the mainland United States. From mid-September to mid-November 2017, we captured and removed 367 Cuban treefrogs in just four surveys in New Orleans, Louisiana. The impacts of this population on native treefrogs in this area is unknown but possibly severe as indicated by the paucity of observations of native treefrogs during our surveys. Eradication of this seemingly established population is improbable, but continued surveys will facilitate learning about the ecology and genetics of this novel population.
Papers & Reports Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of the Mediterranean region of Baja California, Mexico
Authors: A Peralta-Garcia; A J Adams; P Galina-Tessaro; C J Briggs; J Valdez-Villavicencio; B Hollingsworth; H B Shaffer; R N Fisher
Outlet: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is regarded as one of the most significant threats to global amphibian populations. In M?xico, Bd was first reported in 2003 and has now been documented in 13 states. We visited 33 localities and swabbed 199 wild-caught anurans from seven species (five native, two exotic) across the Mediterranean region of the state of Baja California. Using quantitative PCR, Bd was detected in 94 individuals (47.2% of samples) at 25 of the 33 survey localities for five native and one exotic frog species. Only the non-native Xenopus laevis tested negative for Bd. We found significant differences between mean Bd loads of different species, and that remoteness and distance to agricultural land were the best positive predictors of Bd prevalence. These are the first Bd-positive results for the state of Baja California and its presence should be regarded as an additional conservation threat to the region?s native frog species.
Papers & Reports Status of the Threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog and Conservation Challenges in Sonora, Mexico, with Notes on Other Ranid Frogs and Non-native Predators
Authors: J C Rorabaugh; Blake R Hossack; Erin Muths; Brent H Sigafus; J A Lemos-Espinal
Date: 2018-04-30 | Outlet: Herpetological Conservation and Biology 13(1):17–32
In North America, ranid frogs (Ranidae) have experienced larger declines than any other amphibian family, particularly species native to the southwestern USA and adjacent Mexico; however, our knowledge of their conservation status and threats is limited in Mexico. We assessed the status of the federally-threatened (USA) Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) in Sonora, Mexico, based on a search of museum specimens, published records, unpublished accounts, and surveys of 84 sites within the geographical and elevational range of the species from 2000-2016. We also provide information on occurrence of three other native ranid frog species encountered opportunistically during our surveys. The Chiricahua Leopard Frog is known in Sonora from only 20 historical (pre-2000) localities. Searches of three historical sites from 2000-2016 did not reveal any Chiricahua Leopard Frogs; however, we found it at three previously undocumented sites in 2016, all near Cananea. To our knowledge, these records are the first observations of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs in Sonora since 1998. Differences in conservation status between the USA and Sonora are likely due to differing magnitude and distribution of threats and a comparatively aggressive recovery program in the USA. For example, key non-native predators important in the decline of the Chiricahua Leopard Frog are much less widespread in Sonora compared to the USA Southwest, but there are fewer protections and recovery actions for the frog in Sonora than in the USA. Additional surveys for the Chiricahua Leopard Frog and other amphibians in Sonora should be a priority to fully assess threats and conservation status.
Papers & Reports Informing recovery in a human-transformed landscape: drought-mediated coexistence alters population trends of an imperiled salamander and invasive predators
Authors: Blake R Hossack; R K Honeycutt; Brent H Sigafus; Erin Muths; C L Crawford; T R Jones,; J A Sorensen; J C Rorabaugh; Thierry C Chambert
Date: 2017-03-16 | Outlet: Biological Conservation 209 (2017) 377–394
Understanding the additive or interactive threats of habitat transformation and invasive species is critical for conservation, especially where climate change is expected to increase the severity or frequency of drought. In the arid southwestern USA, this combination of stressors has caused widespread declines of native aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Achieving resilience to drought and other effects of climate change may depend upon continued management, so understanding the combined effects of stressors is important. We used Bayesian hierarchical models fitted with 10-yrs of pond-based monitoring surveys for the federally-endangered Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) and invasive predators (fishes and American Bullfrogs, Lithobates catesbeianus) that threaten native species. We estimated trends in occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators while accounting for hydrological dynamics of ponds, then used a two-species interaction model to directly estimate how invasive predators affected salamander occupancy. We also tested a conceptual model that predicted that drought, by limiting the distribution of invasive predators, could ultimately benefit native species. Even though occupancy of invasive predators was stationary and their presence in a pond reduced the probability of salamander presence by 23%, occupancy of Sonoran Tiger Salamanders increased, annually, by 2.2%. Occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators both declined dramatically following the 5th consecutive year of drought. Salamander occupancy recovered quickly after return to non-drought conditions, while occupancy of invasive predators remained suppressed. Models that incorporated three time-lagged periods (1 to 4 yrs) of local moisture conditions confirmed that salamanders and invasive predators responded differently to drought, reflecting how life-history strategies shape responses to disturbances. The positive 10-yr trend in salamander occupancy and their rapid recovery after drought provided partial support for the hypothesis of drought-mediated coexistence with invasive predators. These results also suggest management opportunities for conservation of the Sonoran Tiger Salamander and other imperiled organisms in human-transformed landscapes.
Papers & Reports Frogs on the Beach: Ecology of California Red-Legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) in Coastal Dune Drainages
Authors: Brian J Halstead; Patrick M Kleeman
Date: 2017-04-30 | Outlet: Herpetological Conservation and Biology 12:127–140
California Red-legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) are typically regarded as inhabitants of permanent ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams, but their ecology in other habitats, such as drainages among coastal dunes, remains obscure. Because coastal dune ecosystems have been degraded by development, off-highway vehicle use, stabilization, and invasive species, these unique ecosystems are the focus of restoration efforts. To better understand the ecology of California Red-legged Frogs in coastal dune ecosystems and to avoid and minimize potential negative effects of dune restoration activities on these rare frogs, we studied their spatial ecology, habitat selection, and survival in coastal dune drainages at Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA. All 22 radio-marked frogs remained in their home drainages throughout the spring and summer of 2015 and, with some notable exceptions, most remained close to water. Local convex hull home ranges of four out of five California Red-legged Frogs with > 20 observations in dunes were < 1,600 m2. At the population level, frogs were 1.7 (1.2-4.4) times more likely to select sites 1 m closer to water, and were 83 (2.0-17,000) times more likely to select sites with 10% greater percent cover of logs that served as refuges from environmental extremes and predators. On average, California Red-legged Frogs avoided the invasive plants Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) and European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria). Frogs were 0.68 (0.32-0.89) and 0.55 (0.24-0.75) times as likely to select areas that had 10% greater cover of these plants, respectively. Assuming constant risk of mortality, California Red-legged Frogs had an annual survival rate of 0.70 (range, 0.27-0.96) in coastal dune drainages. This relatively high survival rate suggests that coastal dune drainages provide a locally important habitat for California Red-legged Frogs. Restoration practices that maintain wetted drainages with logjams are likely to benefit California Red-legged Frogs.
Papers & Reports Even with forewarning, challenges remain in developing a proactive response to emerging infectious diseases
Authors: Evan HC Grant; Erin Muths; R A Katz; S Canessa; M J Adams; J R Ballard; L Berger; C J Briggs; J H Coleman; M J Gray; M C Harris; R N Harris; Blake R Hossack; K P Huyvaert; J E Kolby; K R Lips; R E Lovich; H I McCallum; I II Mendelson; P Nanjappa; Deanna H Olson; J G Powers; K LD Richgels; R E Russell; Benedikt R Schmidt
Outlet: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Despite calls for improving responses to emerging infectious diseases of wildlife, management is seldom considered until a disease has been detected in affected populations. Reactive approaches may limit the potential for control and increase total response costs. An alternative, proactive, management framework can identify immediate actions that reduce future impacts even before a disease is detected, as well as prepare actions conditional on disease emergence. We identify four main challenges to developing proactive management strategies for the newly discovered salamander pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Given that deep uncertainty is a hallmark of wildlife disease management and decisions are often complicated by multiple competing objectives, we advocate using decision analysis to create and evaluate trade-offs among proactive (pre-emergence) and reactive (post-emergence) management. Using principles from decision analysis, natural resources agencies and policy-makers can utilize a variety of tools to improve the development of management strategies for emerging infectious diseases.
Papers & Reports INFORMING RECOVERY OF THE ENDANGERED SONORAN TIGER SALAMANDER: 10-YEAR TRENDS IN OCCUPANCY OF SALAMANDERS, INVASIVE PREDATORS, AND THEIR CO-OCCURRENCE
Authors: Blake R Hossack; R K Honeycutt; Thierry C Chambert; Brent H Sigafus; T R Jones,; J A Sorensen; J C Rorabaugh; Erin Muths
Outlet: Unpublished Report (see https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.03.004)
The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) occurs in a single valley that spans the USA-Mexico border and was listed as federally-endangered in 1997. The listing was driven by a variety of threats, including small geographic range and threats from invasive predators. The recovery plan for this subspecies requires scientifically-credible estimates of changes in occurrence of the Sonoran Tiger Salamander and invasive predators before further evaluation of the listing status. The recent completion of a 10-year (2004–2013) monitoring program, coordinated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, generated data sufficient to estimate (1) trends in breeding site occupancy by the Sonoran Tiger Salamander, (2) trends in occupancy of introduced predators, and (3) probability of co-occurrence between Sonoran Tiger Salamanders and invasive predators. We used Bayesian hierarchical models to estimate annual probabilities of occupancy and co-occurrence, after adjusting for imperfect detection. Our analyses showed that pond-level occupancy of Sonoran Tiger Salamanders increased by an estimated 2.2% (95% credible interval [CI] = 0.4%–3.8%) per year. Occupancy of invasive predators decreased by an estimated 0.7% (95% CI = &#8722;2.4%–0.7%) per year. In ponds with water, presence of invasive predators reduced salamander occupancy by 23.01% (95% CI = 8.72–43.73) across the 10-yr monitoring program. These results will assist in evaluating the status of the Sonoran Tiger Salamander and prioritizing management actions that are supported by defensible estimates.
Papers & Reports Ecology and Control of an Introduced Population of Southern Watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata) in Southern California
Authors: R N Reed; B D Todd,; O J Miano; M Canfield; R N Fisher; L McMartin
Date: 2016 | Outlet: Herpetologica 72:130-136
Native to the southeastern United States, Southern Watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata) are known from two sites in California, but their ecological impacts are poorly understood. We investigated the ecology of Southern Watersnakes in Machado Lake, Harbor City, Los Angeles County, California, including an assessment of control opportunities. We captured 306 watersnakes as a result of aquatic trapping and hand captures. We captured snakes of all sizes (162–1063 mm snout–vent length [SVL], 3.5–873.3 g), demonstrating the existence of a well-established population. The smallest reproductive female was 490 mm SVL and females contained 12–46 postovulatory embryos (mean = 21). Small watersnakes largely consumed introduced Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), while larger snakes specialized on larval and metamorph American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) and Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus). Overall capture per unit effort (CPUE) in traps declined with time during an intensive 76-d trapping bout, but CPUE trends varied considerably among traplines and it is unlikely that the overall decline in CPUE represented a major decrease in the snake population size. Although we found no direct evidence that Southern Watersnakes are affecting native species in Machado Lake, this population may serve as a source for intentional or unintentional transportation of watersnakes to bodies of water containing imperiled native prey species or potential competitors.