Rapid ohia death fungus detected in previously uninfected area of Kauai
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four years after rapid ohia death first emerged on Kauai, a tree in a previously uninfected area has tested positive for the devastating fungus.
The fungus was found in a dead ohia located in the Alakai Plateau.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it discovered the tree during one of their helicopter surveys late last year.
“Because the area is one of the most biodiverse on the island, home to numerous native flora and fauna and critical to our watershed, we quickly returned on foot to take wood chip samples,” said Mapuana O’Sullivan, a Kauai Forest Management supervisor.
Officials decided that instead of chopping the tree down — for fear of spreading the fungus — wildlife teams will be applying a repellent on the bark to keep beetles from burrowing and spreading infectious spores.
In the coming weeks state and federal agencies and non-government organizations will takes ohia samples in the Kokee area as well as other locations on the Garden Isle.
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