Date of this Version
Witmer, G.W., W.C. Pitt, and J.C. Beasley. 2018. Conclusions, challenges, and research needs. pgs. 285-388. In: W.C. Pitt, J.C. Beasley, and G.W Witmer, editors. Ecology and Management of terrestrial vertebrate invasive species in the United States. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 403 pp.
At least 392 species of introduced vertebrate species (excluding fish) occur in the United States and its territories (Witmer and Fuller 2011). Many of these species can be truly considered “invasive,” causing various types of economic, social, and ecological harm. In this book, we have presented examples of many invasive vertebrates in the United States, the impacts they cause, and the methods used to control or eradicate them in various parts of the country.
While progress has been and is being made in the management of invasive vertebrates in the United States, there are still many challenges and issues to resolve (Pimentel et al. 2005; National Invasive Species Council 2008), many of which stem from a lack of sufficient funding for public education, prevention, control, and eradiation of invasive vertebrates. Whereas the majority of attention and funding for invasive species in the United States has focused on plants, insects, and pathogens (Pimentel et al. 2005; Pimentel 2011), relatively little effort and few resources have been directed to vertebrate control, with the notable exceptions of brown tree snakes in Guam and wild pigs across several states. Nonetheless, successful eradications of some invasive species have occurred on a handful of islands; however, for mainland areas, the focus continues to be on long-term control.