Annual Invasive Species Week Highlights Top 10February 23, 2015, 2:38 PM HST · Updated February 23, 3:06 PM 0 Comments
By Maui Now Staff
This week marks the start of the 3rd Annual Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Awareness Week. In observance, state agencies and private partners working to rid the islands of these damaging species are highlighting 10 particularly bad offenders.
The list includes: little fire ants, coconut rhinoceros beetles, albizia trees, rats, mongoose, strawberry guava, coqui frogs, miconia, fireweed and invasive algae.
Lawmakers have declared invasive species as, “the single greatest threat to Hawaiʻi’s economy, natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaiʻi’s people.”
During the week-long observance, the Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council and the state agencies charged with combating and controlling invasive species, will share information and work to raise awareness about how the public can help eliminate these pests from Hawaiʻi’s land and ocean.
Carty Chang, interim DLNR chairperson commented in a department press release saying, “The HISC aims to maintain a comprehensive overview of issues and implementation of state-wide invasive species prevention, and an early detection and control program for terrestrial and aquatic invaders. The focus is on programmatic and capacity shortfalls not currently addressed by state agencies.”
He continued saying, “It is hoped that the HISC-funded projects will be a testing ground for new methods and capacity to address invasive species; that over time will be adopted permanently by agencies, freeing up HISC resources to further promote innovation and address gaps in the overall effort to effectively manage invasive species.”
The Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Awareness Week concludes with Invasive Species Awareness Day at the State Capitol on March 2, 2015. During ceremonies that day, six people and five organizations or businesses will be honored for their work to help combat invasive species around the state.