Hawaii just purposely imported 4 brown tree snakes. Here’s why

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Updated: Dec. 10, 2018 at 4:06 PM HST
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KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is importing four dangerously invasive brown tree snakes in an effort to prevent the species from establishing themselves in the islands.

Jonathan Ho, acting manager of the department’s Plant Quarantine Branch, says the Hawaii Board of Agriculture approved a request for the sterile, male snakes to be used in a dog detection program.

The snakes will be used to train four dogs to hunt for the snakes that could enter Hawaii by plane, ship or cargo carrier.

Ho says brown tree snakes invaded Guam and nearly wiped out the island's bird species. Hawaii has several species of protected and endangered birds.

Hawaii has no native snakes, and it’s illegal to own the animals in the islands.

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