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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Emerging Challenges of Managing Island Invasive Species: Potential Invasive Species Unintentionally Spread from Military Restructuring


The U.S. Department of Defense is in the process of restructuring military assets in the Pacific Basin that includes moving more troops to Guam. As a result of this process, the potential risk of vertebrate invasive species may increase across Micronesia. We identified the pathways through which goods and materials are moved throughout the Pacific basin and then developed a list of the most likely invasive vertebrates that could be moved in these pathways. We reviewed the available literature, interviewed experts, and evaluated pathways according to a fixed set of criteria to determine the risk of the pathway to transport invasive species. Some of the potentially high-risk pathways are military and commercial aircraft and vehicles, mail, shipping containers, and aquaculture. The following are species that may spread or become established in the Pacific without the implementation of measures to reduce risk: brown tree snake, habu, Asian beauty snake, common wolf snake, anole, gecko, coqui frog, cane toad, red-vented bulbul, Indian myna, and Indian mongoose.

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