Texas Invasive Bird Project


September 14, 2023
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What is it?

The Texas Invasive Bird Project (TIBP) is a citizen-science project that initiated in June 2008. TIBP evaluates status of invasive or introduced species of birds in the state of Texas. Coordinated by Daniel Brooks, Ph.D. since 2008 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, this project is targeting study of six focal species in Texas:

  • Egyptian Goose (Alpochen aegyptiacus)
  • Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
  • Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
  • Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
  • Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
  • Orange Bishop: (Euplectes franciscanus)

Why is it important?

While invasive species are a ‘hot-button’ in contemporary conservation biology, assessing which introduced species are actually harmful invasives is a vital first-step to create sound management decisions. TIBP fills a niche to help assess whether any of the species targeted are potentially harmful to native species and/or the environment. At the same time detailed natural and life history studies are accomplished to see whether introduced/invasive birds live their lives in a similar fashion to their ancestors in their native lands.

How does it work?

Citizen-scientists complete and return a form which is saved until the data are entered into a database. Once the data are analyzed, questions can be answered about the invasive or introduced species of birds. This ultimately results in peer-reviewed publications to help influence sound management decisions. Just as importantly, the citizen-scientists who help out are often inspired to learn about invasive species, and are able to contribute firsthand.

TIBP Report Form

Collaborators

  • Daniel M. Brooks (Principal Investigator/Coordinator)
  • Corey T. Callaghan (Egyptian Geese, Citizen science)
  • Lynn Chamberlain (GIS)
  • Alyssa Conn (Scaly-breasted Munia, GIS)
  • Amy E. Dunham (N. Orange Bishop)
  • Jason Gleditsch (Exotic finches)
  • Jessica Eberhard (Monk Parakeet)
  • Cathy Hou (Mute Swan)
  • Chloe Marcheli (N. Orange Bishop)
  • Katherine Ohman (Data entry)
  • Greg Page (Exotic Finches)
  • Greg Slutz (GIS)
  • Philip Tanimoto (Red-vented Bulbul)
  • Katherine M. Winston (Egyptian Geese)

Publications

Book chapters

Thibault, M., M.A. Potter, E. Vidal, F. Brescia and D.M. Brooks. 2020. Chapter 5: Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer Linnaeus, 1766). Pp. 40-52 In: Global trends and impacts of alien invasive birds (Downs, C.T. and L.A. Hart (Eds.). CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Gleditsch, J. and D.M. Brooks. 2020. Chapter 21: Scaly-breasted munia (Lonchura punctulata Linnaeus, 1758). Pp. 159-162 In: Global trends and impacts of alien invasive birds (Downs, C.T. and L.A. Hart (Eds.). CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Gleditsch, J.M., K. Ohman, C. Marcheli, A. Conn, A.E. Dunham and D.M. Brooks. 2020. Chapter 22: Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus Isert 1789) Pp. 163-169 In: Global trends and impacts of alien invasive birds (Downs, C.T. and L.A. Hart (Eds.). CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Huysentruyt, F., T. Adriaens, J.F. Maillard, C. Callaghan, D. M. Brooks, D. Strubbe. 2020. Chapter 28: Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca Linnaeus, 1766). Pp. 206-212 In: Global trends and impacts of alien invasive birds (Downs, C.T. and L.A. Hart (Eds.). CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Callaghan, C. and D.M. Brooks. 2020. Chapter 44: Using Citizen Science to study exotic and invasive birds. Pp. 363-368 In: Global trends and impacts of alien invasive birds (Downs, C.T. and L.A. Hart (Eds.). CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Journal Articles

Hou, C. and D.M. Brooks. 2021. Ecology, behavior and reproduction of introduced Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) in Texas. Bull. Tx. Orn. Soc. 54: 78-86

Conn, A., L. Lazenby, and D.M. Brooks. 2017. Ecology, behavior and reproduction of an invasive population of Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) in Houston, Texas.. Pp. 42-55 In: Half a Century of Ornithology in Texas: the Legacy of Dr. Keith Arnold (D.M. Brooks, Ed.). Misc. Publ. Houston Mus. Nat. Sci., 7, Houston, TX.

Callaghan, C.T. and D.M. Brooks. 2016. Ecology, behavior, and reproduction of invasive Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) in Texas. Bull. Tx. Orn. Soc. 49: 37-45.

Brooks, D.M. 2013. Ecology, behavior and reproduction of an introduced population of Red-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) in Houston, Texas. Wilson J. Ornithol. 125: 800-808.

Brooks, D.M. and G. Page. 2012. High diversity of invasive Passerids at a park in southeast Texas. Bull. Tx. Orn. Soc. 45: 23-29.

Brooks, D.M. 2009. Behavioral ecology of a Blue-crowned Conure (Aratinga acuticaudatus) in a subtropical urban landscape far from its natural range. Bull. Tx. Ornithol. Soc. 42: 78-82.

Posters
Callaghan, C.T., K.M. Conlan and D.M. Brooks. 2016. Ecology, behavior, and reproduction of invasive Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) in Texas. VI NAOC (N. Amer. Ornithol. Conf.) Proc., Washington, DC.

Brooks, D.M. 2013. Ecology, behavior and reproduction of an introduced population of Red-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) in Houston, Texas. 131st Ann. Mtg. AOU, FMNH, Chicago, Il.

Brooks, D.M. 2011. Distribution and natural history of large invasive waterfowl in Texas: Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and Egyptian Goose (Alpochen aegyptiacus). 96th Ecol. Soc. Amer., Austin, Tx.

Press and News

Photo Gallery

Invasive Bird Photo Gallery (Power Point file)

Authored By Dan Brooks

As the HMNS Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, Dr. Dan is known as ‘the guy with the most backbone’ in the museum! He curates four permanent exhibits at the museum, where he was worked as a full-time staff member since 1999. He has described 10 new species to date, and is very active in local (hmns.org/houstonwildlife) and international (Southeast Asia and Latin America) wildlife research, especially with gamebirds. Afflicted with the inability to ‘shake the nature bug’, when he’s not at work in the museum, one of his favorite things to do is scouting and exploring the great outdoors with his family.


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