Damage to farms, ranches, resorts in last two years at least $1 million

In the last two years, axis deer on Maui have caused at least $1 million in damage to the island's farms, ranches and resorts, according to a survey by Kenneth Yamamura, an agricultural specialist in the Maui County Office of Economic Development.

Yamamura surveyed 26 farms and five ranches on Maui and eight resorts total from Maui and Lanai. He said not all of the farms and ranches contacted for information responded to surveys, so the actual extent of damage is probably greater.

Yamamura submitted his written report to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council to show the extent of Maui's axis deer problem. The council held its first Neighbor Island meeting Tuesday in Pukalani.

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Public safety concern in plan to curb isle’s deer population

PUKALANI - A draft management plan to control Maui's axis deer population and minimize its impacts on farmers, ranchers and the environment is scheduled to be ready by this summer.

Warren Watanabe, a member of the Maui Axis Deer Working Group, told members of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council this week that he hopes to submit the plan to the council by July, the beginning of its fiscal year, so the Maui group can seek funding and support to combat the ever-growing axis deer population.

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PARTNERSHIP WORKS TO PROTECT AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

PARTNERSHIP WORKS TO PROTECT AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT  

First axis deer taken in control effort on April 11 

HILO — To protect Hawai‘i island from the impacts of axis deer that were illegally introduced and are now spreading, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), has been providing resources for a team to investigate the known locations of, and more recently to begin controlling deer. Axis deer are not native to Hawai‘i, and they are known pests of agriculture, as well as native and culturally significant plants, many of which are already endangered. 

Recognizing the impact this invasive species can have on local cattleman and farmers, a partnership between conservation groups and the agricultural community was formed last year. It has since proved its readiness to address this new threat with the taking of the first axis deer on the Big Island on April 11, 2012, as part of an official program to remove these unwanted pests from the island.

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