A review of the introduced smooth-billed ani Crotophaga ani in Galápagos
The smooth-billed ani (Crotophaga ani) is a widespread introduced bird species in the biologically important archipelago of Galápagos. Many scientists and local people consider it to be a damaging invasive, and it is possible that it impacts native species and ecosystems via multiple mechanisms. However, evidence for this is largely anecdotal and research on smooth-billed anis in Galápagos is limited. Despite this, there have been repeated attempts to control or eradicate the population over the past few decades, all without long-term success. These attempts continue, but no official plan of action regarding this species currently exists.This review brings together all available information on smooth-billed anis in Galápagos. We use both published and unpublished research to answer the following questions:1.What is known about the history of the smooth-billed anis' introduction to Galápagos?2.What are the possible impacts of smooth-billed anis in Galápagos?3.What attempts have been undertaken to control or eradicate smooth-billed anis in Galápagos and what were their outcomes?In answering these questions, we highlight numerous knowledge gaps, in both the current understanding of the impacts of this introduced species and the effectiveness of potential control or eradication methods. We find an urgent need for further research before considered, resource-efficient decisions can be made regarding smooth-billed anis in Galápagos.
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