Record Details

Hegan, Allison E
Alien herpetofauna pathways, invasions, current management practices and control method ethics: a review of some significant problems in the USA
The Herpetological Bulletin
Journal Article
Iguana iguana
Regardless of nomenclature, non-indigenous, exotic, alien herpetofauna can cause dramatic changes in the ecosystems in to which they are introduced. Through human globalisation, species easily cross international boundaries (via the pet trade, hidden in cargo and as biological pest control) and make their home in new regions and waterways. Exotic amphibians and reptiles are no exception and have been introduced into the United States. Some have become invasive species, which have had a substantial negative impact on the regions economy, their new environment and resident species. Currently, the main management tools used for handling invasive herpetofauna issues in the U.S. have been prevention, education, control and eradication measures. However, there seems to be gaps in the literature regarding the use of ethics in the control and eradication methods with regard to invasive reptiles and amphibians, which should be given consideration in future management efforts. This review is not comprehensive, but rather a brief summary of the most widely recognised U.S. alien amphibian and reptile pathways into the U.S., the transition of alien herpetofauna to invasive species, current invasive management efforts, a discussion of the ethics of invasive species management and how best to move forward with research and conservation efforts. This review focuses on the U.S. states of Florida and Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, which is mainly due to much of the available research focusing on these regions due to the high instance of invasive herpetofauna. However, California, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Ohio and Texas are also mentioned. The alien species most commonly referenced in this review are the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), Burmese python (Python bivitattus), Cuban brown anole (Anolis sagrei), Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), European wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), green iguana (Iguana iguana), Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula campestris), Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus), northern curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri) and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).