Rapid assessment for a new invasive species threat: the case of the Gambian giant pouched rat in Florida.

Wildlife Research 33: 439–448.



The Gambian giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) is a large rodent that has established a breeding population in the Florida Keys. Should it successfully disperse to mainland Florida, it could continue spreading through much of North America where significant negative ecological and agricultural consequences could result. We rapidly developed the information for implementing an efficient and successful eradication program before dispersal to the mainland occurs. This included development of monitoring and indexing methods and their application to define the animal’s range, the development of baits attractive to Gambian giant pouched rats, efficacy testing of toxicants, and development of bait-delivery devices that exclude native animals. Gambian giant pouched rats appeared confined to the western two-thirds of Grassy Key, but have dispersed across a soil-filled causeway west to Crawl Key. We identified preferred habitat characteristics and potential dispersal pathways. We developed photographic and tracking tile methods for detecting and indexing Gambian giant pouched rats, both of which work well in the face of high densities of non-target species. We identified a commercial anticoagulant bait and we developed a zinc phosphide (an acute toxicant) bait matrix that were well accepted and effective for controlling Gambian giant pouched rats. We also developed a bait station for delivering toxic bait to Gambian giant pouched rats without risk to native species. We consider that the criteria are met for a successful eradication to commence.


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Donnerstag, 12 Januar 2023 14:32

WITMER, G. W. & HALL, P. (2011)

Attempting to eradicate invasive Gambian giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus) in the United States: lessons learned.

In: VEITCH, C. R., CLOUT, M. N. & Towns, D. R. (eds.). Island invasives: eradication and management: 131-134. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Volltext (PDF)


Gambian giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus) are native to Africa, but they are popular pets in the United States. They caused a monkeypox outbreak in the Midwestern United States in 2003 in which 72 people were infected. A free-ranging population became established on the 400 ha Grassy Key in the Florida Keys, apparently after a release by a pet breeder. This rodent species is known to cause extensive crop damage in Africa and if it reaches the mainland US, many impacts, especially to the agriculture industry of Florida, can be expected. An apparently successful inter-agency eradication effort has run for just over three years. We discuss the strategy that has been employed and some of the difficulties encountered, especially our inability to ensure that every animal could be put at risk, which is one of the prime pre-requisites for successful eradication. We also discuss some of the recent research with rodenticides and attractants, using captive Gambian rats, that may help with future control and eradication efforts.


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Donnerstag, 10 März 2022 10:46

SMITH, H. T. & ENGEMAN, R. M. (2003)

A Review if the Range, Distribution, and Ecology of the Invasive Northern Curly-tailed Lizard in Florida.

Florida Park Service - 2003 "Parknership" Technical Report: 1-5.

Volltext: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1212&context=icwdm_usdanwrc


We examined the distribution and ecology of the exotic northern curly-tailed lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri) in Florida. Published literature and especially unpublished documents and data were reviewed and synthesized. Our findings suggest that both the range and distribution of the Florida population have expanded at a rapid rate during the last 60 years. Ecological effects o r this species on Florida's native lizards and other fauna have not been quantified and require thorough evaluation.


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Donnerstag, 27 Januar 2022 15:50


Ecological and social consequences of bison reintroduction in Colorado.

Conservation Science and Pracfice 1(2). DOI: 10.1002/csp2.9.


Bison were instrumental in shaping North America's Great Plains. Interest in restoring this iconic species and their ecological role in grassland ecosystems is rapidly gaining momentum. To evaluate the potential for bison to enhance habitat quality for wildlife and catalyze public engagement in grassland conservation, we assessed both the ecological and social effects of a recent bison reintroduction (2015) to northern Colorado. Specifically, we explored the effect of bison reintroduction on: (a) bird density and habitat use, (b) mammal habitat use, (c) vegetation composition and structure, and (d) visitor connectedness, known as place attachment, to a shortgrass prairie. We predicted that bison reintroduction would reduce cover and height of some grasses and shrubs, which would increase density and habitat use for obligate shortgrass prairie birds, and increase habitat use for coyote and lagomorphs. In addition, we predicted that visitors would express stronger place attachment to this grassland once bison were reintroduced. To measure ecological and social responses, we surveyed birds, mammals, and plants; and conducted structured visitor surveys before and after bison reintroduction. We found few short-term effects of bison on grassland bird density and habitat use, mammal habitat use, and vegetation composition and structure. However, we measured a significant increase in visitor place attachment to the grassland site 1 year after bison reintroduction. Our results suggest that a new bison reintroduction may have immediate positive benefits for connecting people to conservation, and that the ecological and social effects may unfold over different time scales. We recommend that future bison reintroduction efforts monitor ecological and social outcomes to advance reintroduction biology.


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Sonntag, 14 März 2021 09:52

POURNELLE, G. H (1962)

Observations on captive Proboscis Monkeys (Nasalis larvatus).

International Zoo Yearbook 3: 69-70


Es wird über die Ersteinfuhr von Nasenaffen in die USA (1956) eine weitere Einfuhr, Fütterung, Haltungsbedingungen und Todesursachen berichtet.


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Donnerstag, 08 August 2019 06:26


Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) Recovery Plan Addendum.

122 Seiten.

Recovery Strategy:

The thick-billed parrot has been absent from the U.S. for over 70 years and now only occurs in Mexico.  Thus, the focus of recovery conservation actions should occur inMexico.  Since the mid-1990s, conservation organizations and the Mexican government have been implementing conservation actions focused on research, monitoring, and protection of key breeding areas.  Furthermore, as part of a federal initiative, Mexico convened a group of parrot experts and in 2009 published a recovery plan (the PACE) addressing both the maroon-fronted and thick-billed parrots.  The focus of the PACE (CONANP 2009) is on extant populations of the thick-billed parrot; it does not address thick-billed parrot historical records or historical range in the U.S. Therefore, our approach in this Addendum to the PACE is to:

  • Summarize information on thick-billed parrot’s historical occurrence in the U.S.;
  • Synthesize or reference information (when feasible) from the PACE to formulaterecovery planning components as are required by the ESA;
  • Incorporate supplemental information received from Mexico and U.S. partners since publication of the PACE;
  • Identify broad actions necessary to address conservation of the species within its U.S. historical range;
  • Identify partnerships and opportunities to facilitate recovery of extant populations.




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Inia geoffrensis in Captivity in the United States.

IUCN Species Survival Commission 3: 35–41.


The history of Inia geoffrensls in the United States covers a period of three decades which is characterized by the combined acquisition of as many as 70 animals over the first ten years, an abrupt decline in importation, and a loss of specimens leading to the current captive population of one. Data obtained from several institutions, availablo literature, and the personal files of the senior authors are reviewed. Such factors as the hazards oftransport, longevity, maintenance conditions, necropsy findings, and comparisons between Inia and the more familiar marine species, Tursiops truncatus, are considered. Institutional data are additionally summarized in tabular form. The authors suggest that crowding and/or the overly aggressive behavior of Inia kept in groups contributes to the species'poor longevity record in captivity and that isolated individuals or animals that can be readily separated have a greater chance for survival in a captive environment.


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Montag, 03 September 2018 09:33

CASS, V. L. (1985)

Exploitation of California Sea Lions, Zalophus californianus, Prior to 1972 .

Marine Fisheries Review  47 (1): 36-38


This article summarizes the results of an investigation made into historical sealing activities on the California coast and Channel Islands. Of primary interest were the numbers of California sea lions, Zalophus caiifornianus, killed on San Miguel Island. The harvesting of the northern or Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus, is also discussed. Literature was reviewed for records on the number of sea lions taken for commercial purposes. Many other potential sources of information on numbers of animals killed were also investigated.


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Revealing the Appetite of the Marine Aquarium Fish Trade: The Volume and Biodiversity of Fish Imported into the United States.

PLoS One. 2012; 7(5): e35808.
Published online 2012 May 21. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0035808


The aquarium trade and other wildlife consumers are at a crossroads forced by threats from global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that have weakened coastal ecosystems. While the wildlife trade may put additional stress on coral reefs, it brings income into impoverished parts of the world and may stimulate interest in marine conservation. To better understand the influence of the trade, we must first be able to quantify coral reef fauna moving through it. Herein, we discuss the lack of a data system for monitoring the wildlife aquarium trade and analyze problems that arise when trying to monitor the trade using a system not specifically designed for this purpose. To do this, we examined an entire year of import records of marine tropical fish entering the United States in detail, and discuss the relationship between trade volume, biodiversity and introduction of non-native marine fishes. Our analyses showed that biodiversity levels are higher than previous estimates. Additionally, more than half of government importation forms have numerical or other reporting discrepancies resulting in the overestimation of trade volumes by 27%. While some commonly imported species have been introduced into the coastal waters of the USA (as expected), we also found that some uncommon species in the trade have also been introduced. This is the first study of aquarium trade imports to compare commercial invoices to government forms and provides a means to, routinely and in real time, examine the biodiversity of the trade in coral reef wildlife species.

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Donnerstag, 29 Juni 2017 14:19

HUNT, R.H. (1973).

Breeding Morelet's crocodile at Atlanta Zoo.

International Zoo Yearbook, 13:103-105.


In 1971, for the first time in captivity, we observed our Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii establishing territories, mating, building nest mounds, laying viable eggs and assisting their young from the nest. Our colony was obtained in July 1965 in the Mexican state of Yucatan as juveniles.

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