Coconut Rhino Beetle breeding traps deployed; island-wide assessment in place

Rota Forester James Manglona informed Acting Secretary of Lands and Natural Resources Augustin Kaipat that over 14 Coconut Rhino Beetle breeding traps have been deployed and that an island-wide assessment with the forestry team is ongoing.

“The Coconut Rhino Beetle was first discovered last Thursday at Tweksberry Beach Park, Southwest of the West Marina on Rota. Containment efforts are ongoing with 14 breeding traps 100 feet apart secured with pheromone lure and gill nets so far. More traps are expected to be deployed throughout the coming weeks,” Manglona said.

Manglona added that sanitation of the surrounding areas is needed with crew currently piling compost, mulch, and green waste within 100 to 200 feet all around infested sites for incineration.

According to Acting Secretary Kaipat, one adult beetle has already been caught by a trap on Monday and two on Tuesday.

“Over 20 adults have been collected so far and about a gallon of larvae have been removed. DLNR crew is currently conducting island-wide assessment to determine range beyond the breeding grounds. We are alerting the general public about this destructive pest and more developments will be forthcoming,” Kaipat said.

Acting Secretary added that DLNR has initiated increased quarantine protocol at the airport to inspect all out going cargo and baggages out of Rota.

To report a sighting, please call CNMI Forestry at 256-3321 or Department of Lands and Natural Resources at 322-9834.

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