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Mongoose captured in Kauai harbor

  • COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                A live mongoose caught on Kauai this morning at Nawiliwili Harbor.

    COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    A live mongoose caught on Kauai this morning at Nawiliwili Harbor.

A mongoose was found and trapped at a harbor on Kauai, where the invasive species has not yet established a presence.

The state Department of Transportation’s Harbors Division reported seeing the mongoose at Nawiliwili Harbor Monday morning, according to a news release from the state Department of Agriculture.

The agricultural department and the state Department of Health’s Vector Control Branch teamed up to set 15 traps at the harbor, and this morning a mongoose was found inside one of them.

The DOA said it is holding the mongoose on Kauai and that the traps will be kept in the area and monitored.

Mongooses, originally from India and introduced to Hawaii in the late 1800s to control rats in sugarcane fields, are widespread on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui and Molokai. They have done little to control the rat populations but have threatened the populations of endangered species, notably birds. They cause an estimated $50 million in damages to the state every year, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

While mongooses have not been established on Kauai, they have been sighted and trapped on the island before. The DOA said that a mongoose was trapped in the cargo area of Lihue airport in 2016, and in 2012 two mongooses were trapped in separate incidents — one at Nawiliwili Harbor and the other at a Lihue resort.

Suspected invasive species can be reported to the state’s toll-free hotline at 808-643-7378 (PEST).

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