Monday, November 26, 2018

New Publication in Micronesica!

Check out this new publication in Micronesica! During the 2017 field season, we caught 3 brown treesnakes (BTS) that had consumed our fledgling Såli. When we analyzed the physical traits of these snakes, we found that they were all large individuals in very good body condition, suggesting that young Såli (and birds in general) may be a particularly rich meal for snakes that are used to eating smaller meals of geckos and skinks. In 2018, we caught 12 more BTS and saw the exact same pattern. In addition, we found that snakes that had recently eaten fledglings hunkered down in hollow trees for 4-6 days at a time, presumably to digest their food. These results echo those from a recent study by Siers et al. (2018), and provide important additional information about snake behavior and activity cycles – snakes that are full after a large meal are less detectable and harder to catch. This research (Wagner et al. 2018) was a collaborative effort between our entire 2017 field crew and is now available here: (http://micronesica.org/sites/default/files/wagneretal2018.pdf)!

References:

Siers, S. R., A. A. Yackel Adams, & R. N. Reed (2018). Behavioral differences following ingestion of large meals and consequences for management of a harmful invasive snake: A field experiment. Ecology and Evolution 8: 10075-10093.


Wagner, C., C. Tappe, M. Kastner, O. Jaramillo, N. Van Ee, J. Savidge, & H.S. Pollock (2018). First recorded predation of fledgling Micronesian starlings (Aplonis opaca) by brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam. Micronesica 6: 1-7.  


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