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Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

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Invasive Species

Trapped feral hogs.
Feral hogs trapped at St Marks NWR, FL. Photo by: W. Barichovich.

ARMI conducts research on the ecology of invasives, their impacts on native species, and how invasive species can be reduced or eradicated. Habitat used by amphibians has been exposed to many types of invasives through deliberate or accidental introductions. For example, sport fish deliberately introduced to ponds and streams in the western US that were formerly fishless, have been associated with the loss of amphibians in those water bodies. In another example, the American bullfrog of the Eastern US was introduced into the Western US through a combination of introductions into ponds for bait, and escapes from frog farms. The American bullfrog has been a relentless predator of several species already in conservation trouble in the Western US.

What types of problems do invasive species cause?
Some species harm native species directly by preying on them or competing with them for resources, and some modify or destroy the habitat used by native species.

Where do invasive species come from?
Some come from deliberate introductions such as biological control, stocking for hunting, fishing, or spreading bait species. Some are accidental escapes from pet stores, farming/aquaculture facilities, and ornamental gardens. Some animals are released by pet owners or teaching labs. Some species hitchhike with materials otherwise deliberately moved such as garden plants, ballast water, boats and nets.

Terms Related to Invasive Species

Invasive species: Plant, animal or pathogen that is not native to an area, and "whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." [US Executive Order 13112. 1999]

Injurious Wildlife (defined by Lacey Act) - Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or gametes that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States. Plants and organisms other than those listed above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife.

Nonindigenous species: Any species or other viable biological material that enters an ecosystem beyond its historic range, including any such organism transferred from one country into another. (Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990)

Aquatic nuisance species: A nonindigenous species that threatens the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters. (Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990)


ARMI Products on Invasive Species

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This is an ARMI Product. Notes on the Distribution of Tiger Salamanders (presumed <i>Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi</i>) in Sonora, Mexico
Authors: Hossack, BR, Muths, E, Rorabaugh, JC, Lemos Espinal, JA, Sigafus, BH, Chambert, T, Carreon Arroyo, G, Hurtado Felix, D, Toyos Martinez, D, Jones, TR | Date: 2016-06 | Outlet: Herpetological Review

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This is an ARMI Product. Spatial occupancy models for predicting metapopulation dynamics and viability following reintroduction
Authors: Chandler RB, Muths E, Sigafus BH, Schwalbe CR, Jarchow CJ, Hossack BH | Date: 2015 | Outlet: Journal of Applied Ecology | Format: .PDF
This project provides an example of how spatio-temporal statistical models based on ecological theory can be applied to forecast the outcomes of conservation actions such as reintroduction. illustrates how spatial occupancy models overcome many of the obstacles hindering the application of metapopulation theory for informing reintroduction efforts.Our spatial occupancy model should be particularly useful when management agencies lack the funds to collect intensive individual-level data.

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This is an ARMI Product. A review of pipe and bamboo artificial refugia as a sampling tool in anuran studies
Authors: Glorioso BM, Waddle JH | Date: 2014-12-31 | Outlet: Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9:609-625
Artificial pipe-like refugia have been used by researchers for more than 40 years in anuran studies, and captured 28 species, primarily (82%) hylid treefrogs. Early pipe-like refugia were made using cut pieces of bamboo in the tropical forests of Puerto Rico, but more recent studies have used synthetic pipes and have occurred primarily in the southeastern United States. Although some studies have addressed particular aspects of pipe design, the diverse characteristics of the refugia as well as their placement in the environment have varied greatly, making comparisons among studies difficult. Here, we summarize and evaluate information regarding pipe designs and placement, address potential concerns for researchers, and suggest studies necessary to better interpret the data gained from this technique in anuran studies.

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