New signage aims to protect Kauai from invasive pests

LIHUE — In an effort to bring greater awareness to the issue of invasive pests, the Kauai Invasive Species Committee has installed new signage at both the Lihue Airport and the Young Brothers facility in Nawiliwili.

“Our intent is to get the word out about not only the problems associated with the invasion of alien species, but ways that the public can report them,” KISC Manager Keren Gundersen said in a release Tuesday.

The full-color signs were developed in collaboration with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, and in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Airport Division and Young Brothers, Inc.

KISC Field Operations Supervisor Joe Kona built three freestanding structures to exhibit the panels, which were placed in each baggage claim area, as well as the main lobby, according to the release.

Kauai Airports District Manager Dennis Neves said he was thrilled with the idea and helped bring the project to fruition.

“This is really important information that the public should have,” he said. “And, while parents are looking for their luggage, their kids will have something to look at to learn more about Kauai and what should or shouldn’t be here.”

The signs installed at Young Brothers are geared more toward Kauai residents who ship or retrieve cargo inter-island. They were installed almost one year from the date that YB employees helped capture a live mongoose spotted at the docks.

Since that time, constant mongoose trapping efforts by KISC have taken place at the port facility, with no additional captures, as well as other pest surveys conducted by KDOA and KISC for little fire ant.

KISC is a grant-funded, voluntary partnership of government, private and nonprofit organizations and concerned individuals working together to prevent, control or eliminate the most threatening invasive plant and animal species on Kauai, states the release.

“If we can alert the public to the impacts from these invasive species, then we can all work together to prevent their establishment here on Kauai,” Gundersen said.

The public should look for the new signs when visiting the ports, as well as other information posted at various sites across Kauai.

Reports of pests on Kauai can be made by calling 643-PEST. Mongoose sightings should be reported to 821-1490. Snake sightings should reported immediately to 911.

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