HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Should Hawaii eradicate mongooses and other rodents to protect native species?
The state and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a series of public meetings to get input on that question, which has already stirred controversy.
FWS and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are developing an environmental impact statement to analyze the impacts of – and alternatives to – "controlling these animals for the protection of native wildlife, plants and habitats."
Suzanne Case, Land Board chairwoman, said rodents and mongooses pose a significant threat to Hawaii's native plants and animals.
"It is important that we have a discussion with a wide variety of interested people so we can comprehensively address the damage these rodents and mongoose have on Hawaii's ecology," she said, in a news release.
The public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement was reopened early this year to meet state requirements.
The statement presents the use of mechanical traps, compressed carbon dioxide and rodenticides as ways to control or eradicate mongoose and rodent populations.
The statement isn't a call to action, but would be for informational purposes.
The talk story sessions are scheduled for:
- February 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the McKinley High School cafeteria
- March 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Hale Ponoi in Kapolei
- March 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai
- March 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Lanai Public Library
- March 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Waimea Neighborhood Center on Kauai
- March 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Lihue
- March 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Lahaina Civic Center
- March 11, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Kahului Community Center
- March 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at University of Hawaii-Hilo
- March 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at West Hawaii Community Center
Comments can also be submitted electronically through April 7. For more information, click here.