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Considering native and exotic terrestrial reptiles in island invasive species eradication programmes in the Tropical Pacific

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Edited by: C.R. VeitchMike N. Clout, and D. R. Towns

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Abstract

Most island restoration projects with reptiles, either as direct beneficiaries of conservation or as indicators of recovery responses, have been on temperate or xeric islands. There have been decades of research, particularly on temperate islands in New Zealand, on the responses of native reptiles to mammal eradications but very few studies in tropical insular systems. Recent increases in restoration projects involving feral mammal eradications in the tropical Pacific have led to several specific challenges related to native and invasive reptiles. This paper reviews these challenges and discusses some potential solutions to them. The first challenge is that the tropical Pacific herpetofauna is still being discovered, described and understood. There is thus incomplete knowledge of how eradication activities may affect these faunas and the potential risks facing critical populations of these species from these eradication actions. The long term benefit of the removal of invasives is beneficial, but the possible short term impacts to small populations on small islands might be significant. The second challenge is that protocols for monitoring the responses of these species are not well documented but are often different from those used in temperate or xeric habitats. Lizard monitoring techniques used in the tropical Pacific are discussed. The third challenge involves invasive reptiles already in the tropical Pacific, some of which could easily spread accidentally through eradication and monitoring operations. The species posing the greatest threats in this respect are reviewed, and recommendations for biosecurity concerning these taxa are made.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Considering native and exotic terrestrial reptiles in island invasive species eradication programmes in the Tropical Pacific
Volume 42
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher IUCN, Gland and the Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity (CBB)
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Island invasives: eradication and management : proceedings of the International Conference on Island Invasives
First page 51
Last page 55
Conference Title Island invasives: eradication and management
Conference Location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference Date 8-12 February 2010
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N