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KUAM News article: Residents eradicate rhino beetle habitats

Updated: Nov 18, 2007 6:25 AM

In an effort to protect our island's picturesque landscape from the invasion of the coconut rhinoceros beetle, volunteers as well as Department of Agriculture personnel took to the beaches of Tumon this morning. As part of the Rhino Beetle Eradication Program the group performed a massive cleanup of the area by collecting rotting logs and wooden debris, which is where the beetles tend to lay their eggs.

The collected wood then was taken to a special station to be composted in an established quarantine area.

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KUAM News Article: Be on the lookout for the rhinoceros beetle

Updated: Sep 30, 2007 6:05 AM

The island's tourism capitol is abuzz lately, what with the anticipated movement of thousands of United States troops and their families from Okinawa and the expected business opportunity that will follow. But there's also a large concern from environmental circles with the damages that may fall upon Hotel Row and Pleasure Island due to a nasty new insect that's decided to descend upon the center of nightlife on our island in Tumon.

People of Guam, meet Oryctes Rhinoceros, or as his friends call him, the Rhinoceros Beetle. Small in stature and not too intimidating, he still poses a large threat to our island after the non-indigenous insect was spotted recently in Tumon. Etymologists at the University of Guam say such beetles cause distinctive damage to palm trees, coconuts and betelnuts with their signature feeding technique: rhino beetles bore into fronds prior to them properly opening, and feast on dead coconuts.

While first appearing in Tumon about two weeks ago, experts are feverishly researching whether they've spread to other parts of the island. Fortunately at this point their habitation seems to only be within the area between the Hilton and Gun Beach, and efforts are ongoing to destroy their feeding lairs and trap those wandering around. Beachcombers are asked to refrain from removing live palms, decaying logs and other vegetation from the Tumon area, as doing so could cause the accidental transport of the pest across the island.

If you come across this pest outside of Tumon, you're asked to report it to the Plant Inspection Station at 475-1427.

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