Kauai uses copter, paintball guns on invasive weed

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Officials looking to control invasive species on Kauai are using helicopters and paintball guns to help fight a plant that causes erosion, shades out other species and takes precious rainwater.

The Garden Island reports the Kauai Invasive Species Committee has been shooting herbicide capsules at miconia trees, which are present on about 300 acres in the Wailua Game Management Area and Wailua State Park.

The method involves firing a capsule onto a tree's leaves or stem from above.

The method was invented by James Leary, a specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawaii.

Leary says he has been supervising use of the method on Kauai, Maui and Oahu. He says he eventually plans to train committee staff to use the technology.

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