May 29, 2016 | 73° | Check Traffic

Top News

State urged to provide adequate funding in war on invasive species

If the state fails to provide adequate funding for protection from invasive plant and animal species, it could cost the state more in the long run, state and private agency heads told the Senate Energy & Environment Committee today.

“If we don’t put adequate resources into it now, who’s going to pay the consequences? It’ll be our children and grandchildren,” said Teya Penniman, manager of the Maui Invasive Species Committee, said in a hearing at the state Capitol.

As an example, should the brown tree snake (which has decimated Guam’s bird population) become established in Hawaii, it could cost the state roughly $593 million to $2 billion a year, not to mention the loss in the native bird population, said Christy Martin, spokeswoman for the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species. 

And red fire ants common in some southern states and elsewhere in the Pacific, could cause an estimated $211 million annually in agricultural losses and health costs.

New threats like the little fire ant, are already stinging people and pets in Hilo and could spread.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.