Size-based trends and management implications of microhabitat utilization by Brown Treesnakes, with an emphasis on juvenile snakes

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Abstract

The brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis, or BTS), a costly invasive species, has been the subject of intensive research on Guam over the past two decades. The behavior and habitat use of hatchling and juvenile snakes, however, remain largely unknown. We used a long-term dataset of BTS captures (N = 2,415) and a dataset resulting from intensive sampling within and immediately around a 5-ha fenced population (N = 2,541) to examine habitat use of BTS. Small snakes were almost exclusively arboreal and that they appeared to prefer tangantangan (Leucaena leucocephala) habitats. In contrast, large snakes used arboreal and terrestrial habitats in roughly equal proportion, and were less frequently found in tangantangan. Among snakes found in trees, there were no clear size-based preferences for certain heights above ground, nor for size-based choice of perch diameters. We discuss these results as they relate to management and interdiction implications for brown treesnakes on Guam and in potential incipient populations on other islands.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Size-based trends and management implications of microhabitat utilization by Brown Treesnakes, with an emphasis on juvenile snakes
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher USDA/APHIS/WS, National Wildlife Research Center
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Managing vertebrate invasive species: Proceedings of an international symposium
First page 257
Last page 267
Conference Title Managing Vertebrate Invasive Species
Conference Location Fort Collins, CO
Conference Date August 7-9, 2007
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N