BIO-SECURITY – INTER-ISLAND

Coqui image from Shutterstock; LFA image by Ricardo Solar (view license)

What and Why: Eradication of an invasive species becomes less likely and control costs increase as an invasive species spreads over time. The goal with inter-island bio-security is to prevent the spread of highly invasive species from island to island, which can happen through boats, planes and cargo such as nursery plants, vehicles and construction equipment.

The coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui) is a small tree frog that are known for their loud, incessant and distinctive “ko-kee” vocalization from dusk until dawn. According to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, there are no natural predators or competitors to keep their populations in check, therefore their population can explode and disrupt the balance of native ecosystems. Coqui frogs eat large quantities of insects, which can result in not only an imbalance in the ecosystem, but also decreased plant sales and lowered property values.

We are also planning to train dogs to detect little fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata), another highly invasive and destructive pest.

Our goal with the dogs is to add an olfactory tool to current detection efforts in the bio-security realm.

Where: Our program will focus on inter-island cargo and vessels.

More Information Coming Soon!