Investigating the Taxonomic Status of Sheath-tailed Bat
Bat emergence. Photo by Paul Cryan, USGS.
The Pacific Sheath tailed bat (Emballonura semicaudata) occurs in the southwestern Pacific and populations on many islands have declined or disappeared. One subspecies (E. semicaudata rotensis) occurs in the Northern Mariana Islands, where it has been extirpated from all but 1 island (Aguiguan). We assessed genetic similarity between the last population of E. s. rotensis and 2 other subspecies, and examined genetic diversity on Aguiguan. We sampled 12 E. s. rotensis, sequenced them at 3 mitochondrial loci, and compared them with published sequences from 2 other subspecies. All 12 E. s. rotensis had identical sequences in each of the 3 regions and was consistently more closely related to E. s. palauensis than E. s. semicaudata.
Developing and Testing Methods for Extracting Environmental DNA from Soil Samples, with Applications to Detection of Brown Treesnakes
A Brown treesnake, Boiga irregularis. USGS photo.
This project uses eDNA methods to determine whether the presence of brown treesnakes can be detected from soil samples. Thus far, eDNA methods have focused on aquatic habitats detecting DNA in water samples. The ability to amplify DNA from soil samples would allow greater geographic utility of these methods, and would be logistically preferable because water samples require extensive filtering, cold storage in the field, and high shipping costs for large volumes of water. Further, eDNA from soil could be a useful tool for early detection and rapid response activities for species such as brown treesnakes that rarely use aquatic habitats and which threaten to colonize previously snake-free islands.
Movements and activity of juvenile Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis)
Lardner, B., J.A. Savidge, R.N. Reed, and G.H. Rodda