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Talk story sessions set for rodent control and eradication methods to protect native habitats

By Staff | Mar 3, 2016

Case

LAHAINA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife will hold a series of talk story sessions about methods to control and eradicate invasive rodents and mongooses to protect native species in Hawaii.

The agencies are co-leads in developing a draft programmatic environmental impact statement that will analyze the impacts of, and alternatives to, controlling these invasive animals for the protection of native wildlife, plants and habitats that support them.

“Introduced rodents and mongooses in Hawaii pose a significant threat to many of Hawaii’s native plants and animals,” said Suzanne Case, chairwoman of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“It is important that we have a discussion with a wide variety of interested people so we can comprehensively address the damage these rodents and mongoose have on Hawaii’s ecology, culture and way of life.”

“We really want to hear what communities would like us to consider in this analysis, including what methods should be considered and what are some alternatives,” said Mary Abrams, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Methods to control rodents and mongooses in urban and agricultural areas currently exist, but those tools and methods aren’t always effective or available for use in conservation areas. This process will look at rodent and mongoose control efforts worldwide and document the most appropriate ones that could be used in Hawaii.”

The Maui talk story sessions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at Lahaina Civic Center, and Friday, March 11, at Kahului Community Center.

In addition to these talk story sessions, the public is invited to submit written comments through April 7, 2016. Comments may be made to either agency for joint consideration in the following ways: electronically at www.regulations.gov (follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWSR1ES 20150026); through U.S. Mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWSR1ES20150026, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 220413803; and via www.removeratsrestorehawaii.org (click on “Get Involved” and enter a comment).

Once the comment period closes, both agencies will review the comments received and begin development of the document.

For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, comments previously submitted during the first comment period do not need to be resubmitted.

The draft programmatic environmental impact statement will be published in both the Federal Register and the Environmental Notice and provide another public comment period for review.

For more information, visit www.fws.gov/pacificislands/nativerestoration/ or www.removeratsrestorehawaii.org.