USGS research improves existing invasive species control methods and develops and tests new chemical, physical, molecular, and biological methods of control, stressing integrated control strategies where applicable. These tools permit managers to understand and minimize environmental impacts of invasive species at landscape, regional, and local scales. The USGS has ongoing research to develop and test control methods for a wide variety of invasive species, including Asian carp, brown treesnakes, Burmese pythons and other invasive reptiles, sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, Chinese mystery snails, lake trout, American bullfrogs, among others.
A consortium of government and non-government organizations formed to develop cooperative approaches for invasive species science that meet the urgent needs of land managers and the public. Administratively housed at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, the National Institute of Invasive Species Science provides a hub for invasive species science collaboration, coordination, and integration across agencies and disciplines.
USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center scientists are studying the habitats of Asian carp; developing better methods for aging carp; determining trophic overlap between Asian carps, hybrids, and native filter feeders; and studying how eDNA can be used to control Asian carp.
USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center scientists are conducting research to develop new methods for the control of aquatic invasive species or to mitigate the effects of aquatic invasive species through chemical, biological, or physical means and providing technical assistance to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Control Program.
Allocating resources between the gathering of information to guide management actions and implementing those actions presents an inherent tradeoff. This tradeoff is evident for control of the Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus in the St. Marys River, connecting Lakes Huron and Superior and a major source of parasitic Sea Lampreys to Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan.
The Illinois River has a series of locks and dams that are used to facilitate the navigation of commercial and recreational shipping from Chicago to Beardstown, Illinois. One option under consideration is to develop a lock treatment process that stops aquatic invasive species from entering (and moving through) the Chicago Area Waterway System, while at the same time not unduly impeding the movement of barges and other boat traffic between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River.
We used field surveys in 2010, 2012 and 2013 to describe bullfrog spread in the Yellowstone River floodplain and the habitat features that are associated with bullfrog occupancy and colonization. Bullfrogs in our study area expanded from ~ 60 km in 2010 to 106 km in 2013, and are spreading to up- and downstream habitats.
Top Photo: American bullfrog along the Yellowstone River near Billings, Montana. Photo courtesy of Adam Sepulveda, USGS.