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Brown Tree Snake

The introduction of the brown treesnake to the Territory of Guam has caused significant ecological, economic, and human health impacts. Priorities of the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office Invasive Species Program are to prevent the introduction of the brown treesnake to other Pacific islands and to control the snake population on Guam.

  • What We Do

    Invasive Species Program staff provide coordination for multi-agency brown treesnake control efforts, regionally and nationally, through the legislatively mandated Brown Treesnake Working Group. One staff member is stationed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) within the Division of Fish and Wildlife dedicated to brown treesnake issues. The other position is located within the PIFWO office in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    These positions are partially or fully funded by the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and managed through a cooperative agreement between the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.

    Brown Tree Snake Partnerships

    Brown Tree Snake(link is external)
    Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

    Brown Tree Snake Program(link is external)
    Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. Division of Fish and Wildlife.

    Brown Tree Snake Program(link is external)
    Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

    Brown Tree Snake Highlights in the News

    • USGS Brown Treesnake Research Continues at Guam National Wildlife Refuge (May 22, 2020)(link is external)

      DOI. United States Geological Survey.

      On May 14, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed with the Department of the Navy and the USGS. The MOA provides for continuity of operations for the USFWS and the USGS with construction of new office and lab facilities on the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with DOD’s construction of a Marine Corps firing range. 

    • Interior Announces $3.4 Million for Brown Tree Snake Control on Guam (Jun 3, 2020)(link is external)

      DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.

      U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced the release of $3,442,389 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 grant funding to suppress and control the brown tree snake (BTS), Boiga irregularis, primarily on Guam. Funds also support prevention, detection, and rapid response efforts in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Hawaii, in addition to research and development on how to improve suppression methods and potentially eradicate the snake on Guam. The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) Brown Tree Snake Control program FY 2020 funds are divided among several federal, state, and territorial agencies that collaborate in support of the three pillars of BTS suppression: $1,229,296 is used for control in rapid response and research activities, $1,724,210 is used for interdiction, and $488,883 is used for prevention through coordination and outreach.

    • New Study Provides Insights for Detecting the Invasive Brown Treesnake (Jan 23, 2020)(link is external)

      DOI. United States Geological Survey.

      Researchers from Dickinson College and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated on field research to understand the ability of human searchers to detect the invasive brown treesnake (BTS) on the island of Guam. Due to their nocturnal and tree-dwelling habits, these snakes are extremely difficult to detect, especially when they are present at low densities in an area. A new study published in the journal Ecosphere(link is external) helps explain why and provides valuable information on optimizing search methods and search locations that could be valuable if the BTS was accidentally introduced to a snake-free island.



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