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Wednesday, February 25, 2004



Traps set to catch
mongoose on Kauai

The effort comes after a credible
sighting was made Monday


Mongoose is No. 1 on the most-wanted list on Kauai this week.

State wildlife officials and environmentalists on the Kauai Invasive Species Committee have set traps in East Kauai after a reported sighting Monday.

Kauai and Lanai are the only two islands free of the undesirable alien that feeds on the eggs and fledglings of ground-nesting birds, said Michael Buck, administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

The possible presence of mongoose is seen as a threat to wildlife, Buck said.

"A lot of seabirds are nesting on Kauai and the nene are doing well there," he said.

Buck said there have been previous reported sightings but trapping efforts came up empty.

The recent sighting is considered credible. A former Big Island resident, familiar with the weasel-like creatures, reported seeing a mongoose cross the road.

Christy Martin, of the joint state-private Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, used the sighting to call for support of the state DLNR's $5 million supplemental budget request before the state Legislature.

Included is funding for rapid response efforts statewide by the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, Martin said in a statement.

The mongoose was introduced in Hawaii in 1883 in a failed effort to control rats that were feeding on sugar cane. The story goes that Kauai was spared the pest because a dock worker, bitten by a caged mongoose bound for the Garden Island, kicked the cage into the water, Buck said.



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