Monday, April 21, 2008

Brown tree snake hunted at MCBH Kaneohe

State search teams were hunting last night for a snake spotted early Wednesday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe that fits the description of the brown tree snake. A base resident reported seeing a 2-foot, greenish-brown snake at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Search crews have set up traps with mice and combed the area, but a snake has not yet been found. See, "Snake reported" for full story.

What can be done to stop the spread of invasive species?


Kaneohe Neighborhood Board said...

The following email was cc'd from Sen. Tokuda's office.

Aloha Mahealani,

Thank you for emailing all of us regarding your concerns over the possible sighting of a brown tree snake on Kaneohe Marine Corp Base last week. Just wanted to let you know that I've been speaking with Department of Agriculture officials since early last week and they have kept me informed about their efforts to aggressively search for the snake in cooperation with the MCBH and federal agencies. It just so happened that the Brown Tree Snake Working Group, which is made up of federal and state representatives and representation from Guam and the CNMI, were meeting in Hawaii last week and they were also able to assist in search efforts.

I emphasized to the Department our community's concerns given the sensitive wetland areas that surround or are near the base. This is of great concern to all of us, and the threat will be greater as movement from Guam increases over the next 2 years. That's why we have been working hard to increase our invasive species efforts this session by seeking to appropriate funds for our Biosecurity Program and Joint Inspection Facilities, and establishing a cargo inspection fee that will help us to fund increased inspection efforts at our airports and harbors.

I hope to be at the next NB Meeting in May and will be able to comment more on these matters. Mahalo for being an advocate for our native plants and animals, and please do not hesitate to call if you have any additional questions or concerns.



Kaneohe Neighborhood Board said...

The following email was received on this topic.

Aloha Roy,

As a resident of Kane`ohe and president of the Ko`olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, I am greatly alarmed to learn that a snake - possibly a brown tree snake - has been sighted near the Kane`ohe MCB-Hawai`i and may be on the loose somewhere in the Kane`ohe Bay area.

I implore the Neighborhood Board to please follow up ASAP to get the facts on the matter and determine what will be done by authorities - especially MCBH - to recapture the reptile and remove it from our island environment. I would also like to know what measures will be taken at the base to strengthen our safeguards against any recurrence of these incidental/accidental or neglectful intrusions of invasive or threatening species. I would also be concerned about military vehicles and equipment returned here to Hawai`i bases from other places overseas, where snakes are found, including U.S. bases on the mainland.

We all work so hard to malama our islands and protect our native species from extinction - allowing these alien creatures into our environment is a threat to our native plants and animals.


Mahealani Cypher
Ko`olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club

Kaneohe Neighborhood Board said...

The following email received on this topic:

Aloha Director Thielen,

At the recommendation of Kane`ohe NB Chair Roy Yanagihara, I am forwarding to you my communications regarding the brown tree snake concern in Kane`ohe Bay. I am hopeful that the task force has already begun to address how the military transports and aircraft can also initiate safeguards to protect our islands from invasive species that are found in bases overseas (both domestic and foreign).

Mahalo for any kokua you can give to preserve and protect our islands' native species.