13. Exotics - Invasive Species Spending Cuts May Have...

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1 Invasive Invasive Invasive Invasive Species Spending Cuts May Have Disastrous Consequences Species Spending Cuts May Have Disastrous Consequences Species Spending Cuts May Have Disastrous Consequences Saturday, September 24, 2011HONOLULU (AP) — Budget cuts have denied Big Island invasive species experts the ability to detect and control harmful invasive species. Years of economic downturn and the resulting cuts to invasive species programs are having real consequences in Hawaii. Invasive species are a particularly serious problem in Hawaii, which is home to more endangered species than any other state. The archipelago's ecosystem is exceptionally vulnerable to introduced species because plants and animals evolved here in isolation for millions of years before the first humans arrived and brought with them competing species from other parts of the world. Today, extensive trade routes and airplanes linking the islands to the rest of the world mean a new invasive species lands in Hawaii every 18 days. The Hawaii Invasive Species Council, one of the main players in the fight against harmful non-native plants and animals, had a budget of $4.9 million in 2009. This year, it only has $1.8 million to spend. The state Dept. of Agriculture slashed the number of inspectors it had checking for incoming pests at air at sea ports from 95 to 30, dramatically weakening Hawaii's first line ofdefense. State Department of Agriculture data show 663 pests were intercepted on Oahu between July and December of 2009. During the same six months of 2010, only 57 were. On Kauai, 29 pests were intercepted during the last part of 2009. None was intercepted during that same period in 2010. Hawaii’s biological diversity will suffer if harmful invasives aren't kept in check, and current cutbacks will result in problems that may take decades to reverse, if they even can be. EXOTICS The Invasion of Alien Species Kudzu Brown tree snake Gypsy moth WHAT IS AN EXOTIC? • Exotic, alien, non-indigenous, non-native, introduced, immigrant species versus native, indigenous, endemic species • Exotics do not occur naturally in an area and were brought there either deliberately or inadvertently by human agency and subsequently colonized HUMAN AGENCY • Deliberate introductions: wide variety of justifications related to utilitarian values (some actually involving conservation) • Inadvertent introductions: generally “stow-aways” and human commensals that get moved as part
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13. Exotics - Invasive Species Spending Cuts May Have...

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