The state has launched a new website and app for the public to report the sighting of invasive species as a complement to its hotline 643-PEST.
Members of the community can now go to 643pest.org or use the 643-PEST app, available for android and iOS, to report the sighting of an invasive pest, including the date, a map tool to pinpoint the location by coordinates, plus upload images and submit notes, allowing for a faster response by the appropriate agencies.
Users also have the option of filing an anonymous report.
“The new website and app let us receive reports about any type of invasive species and then get it to the appropriate experts,” said Case. “Whether it’s a new threat to agriculture, natural resources, or human health, we want to know about it and make sure the right agencies are working together on a response.”
Participants will receive an email confirming the pest report submission, and a representative of the 643Pest Network may follow up to clarify information or provide feedback.
“We need the public to be our eyes and ears to detect new pests and keep them from becoming established,” said Hawaii Department of Agriculture chairperson Scott Enright. “This new system makes that really convenient.”
The initiatives are part of the implementation of a biosecurity plan by the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, co-chaired by the state Department of Agriculture and DLNR.
The system was developed by the Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network, a project of the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, with app development by Natural Resources Data Solutions, LLC.
If, however, a snake is sighted, the public should immediately call 911.