Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) A major dilemma: How to fund effective agricultural inspection and quarantine for the State of Hawaii?

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The dilemma

The Hawaii Legislature has recently been very supportive of the need for improving Hawaii's invasive species prevention, but substantial controversy still exists over how to fund effective agricultural inspection and quarantine for the State of Hawaii. There are many options but there seem to be no simple solutions. Regarding one immediate issue, the U.S. Department of Transportation is inviting comments (before October 30, 2010) on a petition by the Air Transport Association: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=DOT-OST-2010-0243

Hawaii's need for invasive species prevention

Among U.S. states, Hawaii stands out for its very high rate of colonization by non-indigenous species. During the period 1942-72, the number of new species of insects and mites colonizing Hawaii was 40 per thousand square miles, 500 times greater than for the continental U.S. (McGregor 1973). Unfortunately, the rate of colonization has probably not declined and may have increased (Hollingsworth and Loope 2007). Hawaii's evolutionary isolation and diverse physical environment result in an enormous vulnerability to biological invasions (McGregor 1973; OTA 1993; Denslow 2003). Many in Hawaii believe that preventing establishment and spread of new damaging invasive species must become a top priority for Hawaii to protect agriculture, human health, and quality of life as well as Hawaii's native biodiversity. There are important requirements for maintaining Hawaii's still rich but declining native biodiversity. In the view of many conservation biologists, preventing establishment and spread of new damaging invasive species trumps most, if not all, other issues (Loope et al. 2001). Hawaii's conservation community has long observed this dire situation, and has long articulated what on the surface appeared to be mainstream solutions, recognizing the catastrophic effects of invasions to Hawaii's agriculture, health, and quality of life as well as the natural environment (TNCH/NRDC 1992; Holt 1996), but progress in blocking pathways of introduction has posed a challenge (e.g., Reeser 2002, Fox and Loope 2007). However, the cumulative impact of new invasions of the recent past on Hawaii's environment, agriculture, and quality of life for humans may have reached some sort of a tipping point as a result of invasions by such pests as coqui (HEAR n.d. a), little fire ant (Conant et al. 1999), nettle caterpillar (Conant et al. 2002), erythrina gall wasp (Heu et al. 2005), ohia rust (Killgore & Heu 2005), Asian citrus psyllid (Conant et al. 2006), varroa mite (Ramadan et al. 2007), naio thrips (Conant et al. 2009), and coffee berry borer (Garcia 2010). There is clearly legitimate concern over what new pests may arrive within the near future. Red imported fire ant (Krushelnycky et al. 2005) and brown tree snake (HEAR n.d. b), may be among them, and Hawaii is likely to be blindsided by any number of unanticipated pests as well.

Front line agencies mandated to protect Hawaii

Today Hawaii's most damaging pests come in roughly equal numbers from the U.S. mainland and from foreign countries, and both state and federal entities are charged with biosecurity at Hawaii's ports of entry (TNCH/NRDC 1992; OTA 1993). The State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is the state entity charged with protecting Hawaii, though its authority for protection against pests from foreign ports is very limited and requires much collaboration with federal authorities. Federal authorities focus on preventing entry into the USA of pests of mainstream agriculture, with relatively little special protection for Hawaii.

What next?

The Kahului Airport Pest Risk Assessment (HDOA 2002) has given HDOA an opportunity to float a promising vision of how gaps in Hawaii's prevention system could be filled through implementation of a biosecurity strategy (C. Okada, pers. comm.). The Hawaii Legislature, impressed with the vision and need, has tried to develop funding sources to enable the vision to come to fruition, starting in 2007. But the dilemma of where funding will come from may be still open to question.

References cited

Conant, P., Hara, A.H., Nakahara, L.M. and Heu, R.A., 2002. Nettle Caterpillar. Darna pallivitta Moore (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae). New Pest Advisory 01-03 (updateded Sept. 2008). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa01-03_netcat.pdf

Conant, P., Heu, R.A. Nakahara, L. Kumashiro, B. and Reimer, N.J., 1999. Little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). New Pest Advisory No. 99-02 (updated Feb. 2007). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa99-02-lfireant.pdf

Conant, P., C. Hirayama, B.R. Kumashiro, R.A. Heu, and C.L. Young. 2006. Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). New Pest Advisory No. 06-01 (updated Feb. 2009). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa06-01-ACP.pdf

Conant, P., C.K. Hirayama, M.I. Lee, C.L. Young, and R.A. Heu. 2009. Naio Thrips, Klambothrips myopori Mound & Morris (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae). New Pest Advisory No. 09-02.State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa09-02-naiothrips.pdf

Denslow, J.S., 2003. Weeds in paradise: thoughts on the invasibility of tropical islands. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 90: 119-127. abstract: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3298531

Fox, A.M., and L. L. Loope. 2007. Globalization and invasive species issues in Hawaii: role-playing some local perspectives. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 36: 147-157. http://www.jnrlse.org/view/2007/e07-0023.pdf

Garcia, J.N. 2010. Coffee Berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari), (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). ). New Pest Advisory No. 09-02. State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. Issued September 2010. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/coffee-berry-borer-folder/Pest%20Advisory%20-%20CBB.pdf

HDOA, 2002. Kahului Airport pest risk assessment. Department of Agriculture, State of Hawaii, Plant Quarantine Division, Honolulu. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/pq/KARA<--final report PDF: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/pq/KARA_Report_Final.pdf-->

HEAR. n.d. a Eleutherodactylus coqui. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project. http://www.hear.org/species/eleutherodactylus_coqui/

HEAR. n.d. b Boiga irregulari, brown tree snake. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project. http://www.hear.org/species/boiga_irregularis/

Heu, R.A., Tsuda, D.M. Nagamine, W.T. and Suh, T.H., 2005. Erythrina gall wasp. Quadrastichus erythrina Kim (Hymenoptera: Eulophida). New Pest Advisory No. 05-0 (updated December 2008). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa05-03-EGW.pdf

Hollingsworth, R.D., and L.L. Loope. 2007. Learning from quarantine successes. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 39: 57-61. http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/487/1/10_hollingsworth_57-62.pdf

Holt, A., 1996. An alliance of biodiversity, health, agriculture, and business interests for improved alien species management in Hawaii. Pp. 155-160, i Sandlund, O.T. Schei, P.J. and Viken A. (eds). Proceedings of the Norway/UN Conference on alien species. Directorate for Nature Management and Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway. www.hear.org/AlienSpeciesInHawaii/articles/norway.htm

Killgore, E.M., and Heu, R.A., 2005. A rust disease on ohia. New Pest Advisory 05-0 (updated December 2007). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa05-04-ohiarust.pdf

Krushelnycky, P.D., Loope, L.L. and Reimer, N.J., 2005. The ecology, policy and management of ants in Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 37: 1-25. http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/103/1/1-25%20vol37%20krush.pdf

Loope, L.L., Howarth, F.G., Kraus, F. and Pratt, T.K., 2001. Newly emergent and future threats of alien species to Pacific landbirds and ecosystems. Studies in Avian Biology 22: 291-294. http://www.hear.org/articles/loopeetal2001/

McGregor, R.C., 1973. The emigrant pests. A report to Dr. Francis Mulhern, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Berkeley, California. Unpublished report on file at Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Honolulu, Hawaii. www.hear.org/articles/mcgregor1973.pdf

OTA, 1993.Harmful non-indigenous species in the United States. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. OTA-F-565, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C . http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk1/1993/9325_n.html

Ramadan, M.M., N.J. Reimer, D.E. Oishi, C.L. Young and R.A. Heu. 2007. Varroa Mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Acari: Varroidae). New Pest Advisory No. 07-01 (updated December 2008). State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa07-01-Varroa.pdf

Reeser, D.W. 2002. Crossing boundaries at Haleakala: the struggle to get improved quarantine protection prior to expansion of Maui's airport. Pages 107-111 in D. Harmon (ed.), Crossing Boundaries in Park Management, Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Research and Resource Management in Parks and on Public Lands, George Wright Society, Denver, Colorado, April 2001. http://www.georgewright.org/19reeser.pdf

TNCH/NRDC, 1992.The alien pest invasion in Hawaii: background study and recommendations for interagency planning. Natural Resources Defense Council and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Joint agency report. 123p. www.hear.org/articles/pdfs/nrdctnch1992.pdf

The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) project is currently funded by the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) through PIERC (USGS) with support from HCSU (UH Hilo). More details are available online. Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN)National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII)

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