The Critter Invasion

Military bases across the country have to deal with invasions—of everything from snakes to wild boars, according to a new report issued by the National Wildlife Federation. The Pentagon and the federation collaborated on the study to see how to manage the problem of invasive species on the estimated 25 million acres of DOD managed land across the country. Among its findings, the report cites the brown tree snake problem on Guam, home of Andersen Air Force Base. The island, says the report, is infested with more than two million brown tree snakes—which come out to about 12,000 per square mile. They aren’t confined to trees, though. Their high wire antics on transformers, create shorts that lead to blackouts about once a week. “Each of our military installations has a unique and important mission it is expected to carry out,” said Peter Boice, the conservation team leader in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “Invasive species put unnecessary roadblocks in the way of achieving this mission, putting undue strains on America’s defenses.”