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Biology Highlights - 2015

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Genetics Provides New Clues about Lionfish Invasion

New genetic data suggest the red lionfish invasion in the Caribbean Basin and Western Atlantic started in multiple locations, not just one as previously believed, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Florida has often been cited as the likely location of the introduction, but the new research suggests multiple introductions occurred, with some potentially coming from the more southern parts of the range. The Caribbean Basin stretches from parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast through South America. arrow iconUSGS News Release

New Study Sheds Light on Mammal Declines in Everglades National Park

Nearly 80 percent of radio-tracked marsh rabbits that died in Everglades National Park in a recent study were eaten by Burmese pythons, according to a new publication by University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey researchers.

A year later, there was no sign of a rabbit population in the study area. The study demonstrates that Burmese pythons are now the dominant predator of marsh rabbits, and likely other mid-sized animals in the park, potentially upsetting the balance of a valuable ecosystem. arrow iconUSGS News Release

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