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Brown Tree Snake Program


brown tree snake in treeThe Brown tree snake's (Boiga irregularis) native range is eastern Indonesia, northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It arrived in Guam after World War II, probably as a stowaway in military cargo. Since the snake had no natural enemies on Guam, it has attained high population levels

It feeds on a wide variety of birds, mammals and lizards. Nine species of birds have been wiped out on Guam due to predation by the snake. They also have caused frequent islandwide power outages by climbing utility poles and shorting out electrical lines. This snake represents one of the greatest threats to Hawaii's native species. Since 1981, eight brown tree snakes have been found on Oahu.

beagle searching for brown tree snake in plane wheelsThe Brown Tree Snake Canine Unit was organized by the State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture in 1992, to prevent the introduction of this destructive snake. Each inspector-handler in the unit is teamed with one dog, and together, they inspect aircraft and ships arriving from Guam for the presence of the brown tree snake.

To report a sighting of a snake or any illegal animal, please call the Pest Hotline at 586-PEST (7378).