Recently, the health of coconut palms has come under severe threat. The Pacific Community (SPC), working with Pacific Island countries and territories, and development partners, is looking for ways to meet this threat before it devastates the hopes of economic progress in the region. In August of 2017 an alert was issued identifying a new danger to the Pacific, which is causing devastation to coconut palms and expanding rapidly across the region. The new threat comes from a longstanding adversary in the region: the rhinoceros beetle.
Invasive Species Resources
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Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Based on years of experience and the latest science, APHIS developed a list of 59 pests and diseases that could pose a significant risk to U.S. food and agriculture resources. The list is not meant to be all-encompassing, but rather focus on the most impactful pests and diseases. USDA's goal remains to keep the U.S. free of these foreign pests and diseases.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Includes invasive species by category for insects, diseases, plants, and animals.
See also: Invasive Species Status Report by Congressional District
University of Guam.
The University of Guam received another round of funding in September under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection Act for the surveying and monitoring of invasive pests of solanaceous crops that are on USDA’s Priority Pest List for 2021. Solanaceae, or nightshades, are a family of flowering plants that include tomato, eggplant, and chili pepper. As part of the national effort this year, UOG was awarded $38,000 to survey and monitor for two pests: Tuta absoluta, which is a moth and type of leafminer capable of destroying an entire crop, and Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2, which is a bacterium, known as a bacterial wilt, that infects through the roots and is deadly to plants.
The work through UOG better prepares the island to manage these invasive species if or when they arrive. "There are certain pathogens and insects that have a reputation of being really bad. These are two of them," said project lead Robert L. Schlub, a researcher and faculty member of UOG Cooperative Extension and Outreach with a doctorate in plant pathology. "They aren’t on Guam, but if they show up, we want to know so we can help get them under control."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council (New Zealand).
National Plant Diagnostic Network.
First Detector, a program of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), equips a nationwide network of individuals to rapidly detect and report the presence of invasive, exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, nematodes, and weeds. If you suspect the presence of a high-impact plant pest or pathogen, contact a diagnostician and submit a sample for diagnosis.
The future is looking a little brighter for seabirds in French Polynesia following the first successful removal of invasive rats in the Marquesas Archipelago. The project, implemented by the Societe d’Ornithologie de Polynesie (Manu), Island Conservation, BirdLife International and Association Vaiku’a i te manu o Ua, will protect a nationally significant population of 90,000 Sooty Terns. Invasive rats present on the island devoured seabird eggs and chicks and native plants. Free from invasive rats, seabirds can once again safely nest and native plants can grow tall and thrive.
South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
The Asian tiger mosquito can carry dread diseases like Zika, and yellow and dengue fever. After it vanished from Palmyra Atoll, an island in the tropical Pacific, USGS researchers and partners set out to find out why.
The Hawai'i-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) is a free service that provides a background check on plants. Professional botanists use published information to answer 49 questions about a plant, to predict whether it is a low-risk or high-risk of becoming invasive in Hawai'i or similar Pacific islands.
Nature Conservancy. iMapInvasives.
Includes a variety of published guides and internet resources (videos) for use in identifying invasive species that are found in the participating states, provinces, and regions of the iMapInvasives network. The iMapInvasives network is currently comprised of various U.S. states and one Canadian province (Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and in Canada - Saskatchewan).
See also: The iMapInvasives Network is comprised of organizations that host the iMapInvasives Network database in their respective state or province.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $942,206 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative grants to eradicate and control the spread of invasive species in the U.S. territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), as well as in the Republic of Palau, and Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Funding will be used to introduce biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetles, control and eradicate feral cats and monitor lizards, and destroy wild vines, all of which are disruptive to ecological systems and impacting communities and livelihoods in the islands.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs this week announced $1,488,890 in fiscal year 2018 grants to combat invasive species and protect natural resources in the U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. "Invasive species in the islands are disruptive for both marine and terrestrial resources in the islands, which already face a delicate balance," said Assistant Secretary Domenech. "Secretary Zinke and I are pleased to help control and eradicate invasive species in the islands in order to protect public health, livelihoods, and fragile environments and economies."