U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in in W. S. Helton ,editor. Canine ergonomics: the science of working dogs. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2009.


The inadvertent introduction of the brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) to Guam resulted in unprecedented losses to the island’s fragile ecology and economy. A primary management objective is preventing the spread of brown treesnakes to other locations via Guam’s transportation network. To achieve this, snake populations are suppressed in and around port and cargo staging areas through an integrated wildlife damage management approach, with the last line of defense for preventing their entrance into the outbound cargo flow inspection by trained snake detector dogs. The efficacy of working dogs on Guam has been evaluated from a variety of aspects.