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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Farmers fret over invader

Axis deer have been introduced on the Big Island, with confirmed sightings from Kohala to Ka'u, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday. Survey areas are expanding as government agencies and private landowners work to develop a response and removal plan, DLNR Chairman William Aila said in a statement.

"We consider this a serious problem with far-reaching economic and environmental impacts to the agriculture industry and native ecosystems on the island," Aila said in the statement.

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Creatures Great and Small Threaten Maui's Ecology

Look out your window. Upcountry, you may see eucalyptus trees or fireweed. At lower elevations, you may see miconia or hear the repetitive call of the coqui frog. To many of us, these may seem like the sights and sounds of normal Hawaiian flora and fauna. They are, however, all considered to be invasive species.

Lissa Fox of the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) spoke at the Upcountry Sustainability public meeting on Monday, Oct. 3. "Not all non-native species are invasive, and not all invasive species are non-native," she explained.

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