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Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

Monitoring Invasive Species that Threaten the Wildlife and Sport Fish Resources in Puerto Rico
(Project FW-16; F18AF01279)

iNaturalist Project “Biodiversity of Puerto Rico” –a tool used by project personnel to promote citizen-science data collection.

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Project Summary

 

The study of invasive species has gained broad attention from ecologists, government agencies and the public due to the potential negative economical, ecological and environmental impact that these may cause. The DNER has taken the first steps towards preventing species invasions and controlling invasive species established in Puerto Rico (Regulation No. 6765). However, these actions have fallen short, and species invasions on the island continue on the rise. Invasive species are a latent threat to Puerto Rico’s biodiversity in general, as expressed in the Puerto Rico State Wildlife Action Plan, and to the wildlife and sport fish resources on the island. Therefore, there is a need to identify threats posed by introduced non-native and invasive species to the wildlife and sport fish resources.

 

 

Project Objectives

 

  1. Develop and curate a database of both native and non-native introduced and/or invasive species
  2. Record the occurrence and distribution of native and non-native introduced and/or invasive species
  3. Involve the general public to provide records of the occurrence and distribution of native and non-native introduced and/or invasive species
  4. Educate the public about the threat that invasive species pose to the wildlife and sport fish resources through outreach activities
  5. Develop a protocol to identify non-native species that have not been introduced to Puerto Rico, but that have invasiveness potential
  6. Identify non-native and/or invasive species that threaten the wildlife and sport fish resources
  7. Provide technical assistance to the DNER on management strategies for non-native and/or invasive species that threaten the wildlife and sport fish resources

 

 

Results and expected benefits

 

  • Construction and maintenance of a database with location records of non-native and/or invasive species as well as native species
  • Educate the public about the threats imposed by non-native and invasive species to Puerto Rico’s wildlife and sport fish resources
  • Recruit members of the public to contribute with the identification and location record submission to the database
  • Development of a protocol to identify non-native species that have not been introduced to Puerto Rico, but that have invasiveness potential
  • Development of management strategies for the non-native and/or invasive species identified as major threats to the preservation of the wildlife and sport fish resources
  • Guiding the implementation of management strategies for species identified as major threats to the preservation of the wildlife and sport fish resources
  • Obtain data to administer wildlife and sport resources efficiently
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DNER

The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) is the executive department of the Government of Puerto Rico tasked with protecting, conserving, developing, and managing the natural resources of the islands.

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WSFR

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) works with states, insular areas and the District of Columbia to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, their habitats, and the hunting, sport fishing and recreational boating opportunities they provide.

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USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is an agency of the federal government within the U.S. Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is “working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the people.