18 Jun 2014

Pacific biodiversity threatened by invasive species

2:27 pm on 18 June 2014

A specialist in invasive species says Palau is committing 1.4 million US dollars towards eradicating invasive species and is challenging neighbouring countries to help the cause.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme's, Dr Posa Skelton, says a recent meeting of Micronesian leaders in Yap has been told of the increasing threats to biodiversity from imported insects, animals and plants.

He says examples of invasive species include the coconut termite that causes coconut palms to collapse, the black widow spider, little fire ants that have a painful bite and the brown tree snake which is killing native birds.

"The brown tree snake is causing massive devastation of bird species in Guam. I think a lot of the Guam native and endemic bird species have become extinct so they are no longer with us due to the brown tree snakes."

SPREP's Coordinator of the Pacific Invasives Learning Network, Dr Posa Skelton.