U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

USGS research to assist nutria eradication in Maryland: detection and

monitoring a major need

Haramis GM, O'Connell AF, Kendrot S (USDA APHIS)

In support of interagency initiatives developed cooperatively with the National Invasive Species

Council (NISC), the USGS Invasive Species Program is supporting new research to assist with

nutria eradication and marsh restoration in the Chesapeake Bay region. This new research will

benefit directly the nutria eradication effort managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the

Maryland Department of Natural Resources and their partners, and being carried out by the US

Department of Agriculture's division of Wildlife Services (APHIS). The new research will build on

work first started in 1997 to investigate the role of nutria in the extensive loss of emergent marsh

at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, Maryland. Particular

emphasis will be placed on developing efficient remote sensing methods to monitor the

presence of nutria and to develop approaches to detect nutria at low densities following

systematic removal by trapping. Our goal is to provide managers with science-based

monitoring methods to assess temporal and spatial changes in nutria densities and in so doing

facilitate nutria eradication efforts in the coastal environment. Over 6 square miles of emergent

marsh have been lost to open water on the Refuge since 1938 and much of remaining marsh

has incurred significant damage and will likely be lost in the near future. Foraging activity and

other surface damage by nutria has been determined to be a major contributor to marsh loss.

Friday, September 22, 2006

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