Our CRB staff participated in Wettengel Elementary School's 1st Career Day Presentaion on Wednesday March 2, 2011.
On February 17, 2011, Dr. Reddy hosted a workshop on insect semiochemicals which was sponsored by USDA Western SARE and NRCS. See the news story from the Pacific News Center:
The "Natural Resource Survey Report in Support of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Marine Corps Relocation Initiative to Guam" has finally been released.
"It’s a species of Erotylidae in or near the genus Anadastus. This genus is well known to feed on young cycad foliage in various parts of the world. You should contact Rich Leschen in New Zealand for possible further identification and references."
Two species of Anadustus have type specimens from Luzon:
Anadastus bicolor Chujo, 1974
Anadastus luzonicus Chujo, 1974
It is interesting to note that erotylids have been associated with pollination of cycads. See http://www.wptrc.org/userfiles/file/Marler/Terry%20et%20al%20Micronesica.pdf.
An image of a similar-looking erotylid can be seen here.
This bioassay indicates that the Guam rhino beetles are resistant to the virus and/or the virus samples have been deactivated. Please see attachment.
The Pacific News Center reports that Senator Guthertz, Guam Military BuildupCommitte chair, has expressed concerns about the Micronesia Biosecurity Plan (MBP) funded by the US Department of Defense. The MBP has been proposed to mitigate increased risk to Guam and surrounding islands from damage caused by invasive species arriving as an unintended consequence of the military buildup:
"Guthertz says the ROD reveals that a regional Micronesia Biosecurity Plan is being developed by a Navy contractor. The MBP 'will include risk assessments for invasive species throughout Micronesia and procedures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate these risks.'"
"In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Senator Guthertz said that to her knowledge, the biosecurity plan is not yet final and is being developed with Navy funding by a U.S. mainland firm. She also said that her understanding was that the plan 'will not include the physical resources (personnel, equipment, facilities, etc.) required to handle and mitigate bio-security/invasive species issues that will occur during the military buildup' There’s apparently also no federal funding for carrying out the plan at this point."
The full article is online at http://www.pacificnewscenter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=artic...
Two University of Guam professors are on a mission to rid our island of non-native invasive insects. Hunting for bugs is literally what UOG entomologists Ross Miller and Aubrey Moore get paid to do. Through federal grants, the pair along with several UOG students survey insects harmful to Guam and the U.S. mainland.
They say some non-native species if left undetected are detrimental to our island's ecosystem and way of life. Two particular insects they're on the lookout for include the little red fire ant and red imported fire ant. Said Miller, "Our job then is to periodically go around throughout the areas where this ant might make entry, like the seaports, the nurseries, the airport, tourist areas and we survey the ants and then identify them to see if this ant is present."
Moore is part of the Western Diagnostic Network, which trains the public about what to do when they think they've spotted a new pest. One familiar project he's been working on for the past 13 months deals with the coconut rhinoceros beetle. "The important thing is if we can detect something when it first gets on island, chances are they're in a very limited geographical range and we can go in there and eradicate it," he explained.
The ROD had little to say about the plight of the Mariana eight spot butterfly, a candidate for the endangered species list which will be put at additional risk by habitat destruction during the Guam military buildup.
The ROD summed up the situation in two lines:
"ESA Candidate Species (not Guam-listed):
• Mariana eight-spot butterfly - significant impact mitigated to less than significant."
This is not unexpected, seeing that the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Agency charged with protecting endangered species, failed to consider impacts to the butterfly in their Biological Opinion which was intended to inform the ROD.
By the way, the ROD is inaccurate. The Mariana eight-spot butterfly is Guam-listed. I pointed this inaccuracy to JGPO in my comments on the Final EIS dated August 21, 2010:
"In 2009 USFWS gave this rare species a high priority for inclusion in the endangered species list (level 3 out of 12 with 1 being the highest priority) (USFWS 2009). This species is also listed by the Government of Guam as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (GCWCS 2006). Note that the FEIS Volume 2 consistently and incorrectly indicates that the Mariana eight-spot butterfly is not Guam-listed, even though the fact sheet in Volume 9 says that it is."
GDAWR 2006. Guam Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (GCWCS)Available online at http://www.wildlifeactionplans.org/pdfs/action_plans/gu_action_plan.pdf
USFWS 2009. Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form.Available online at http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/candforms_pdf/r1/I0R7_I01.pdf