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Gizo breeds local CRB species
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03 August 2018
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Rhinocerus larvae discovered in the Guadalcanal plains.

WESTERN Province's Agriculture office has confirmed that a local Coconut Rhinoceros beetle species is present in the western end of Gizo town.

Chief Field Officer Allen Takanunu said, the beetle in Gizo is a local species common in the Pacific Islands.

However, it is easy to control by biological means, and is different from the invasive species that had damaged coconuts Palms in Guadalcanal.

Mr Takanunu said that the beetle is still localized in the west side of the town, and people living in that area also depends on Coconut as a source of income. 

The agriculture officer explains that, the re-emergence of the local beetle was first noticed in the area at the end of 2017.

With the discovery, his office is continuing to work closely with the Bio-security Solomon Islands (BSI) in Honiara, to closely monitor the pest.

He said, the Agriculture office in Gizo had also placed beetle traps in the area, giving out information sheets and doing awareness in the communities, as well as advising people in the communities to keep their Coconut Plantations clean.

Takanunu believes that the pest moves as people travel between the Islands, mainly Guadalcanal, Malaita and Western Provinces.

In a statement from the Bio-security Solomon Islands recently, reducing the population of the beetles is possible.

“To reduce the population of adult beetles, it is easiest to kill their young (larvae) by destroying their main breeding site of dead and decaying palms.”

“The larvae of rhinoceros beetle live mainly in rotting palms lying on the ground or standing in the air.

“They also live in other rotting plant materials like compost and chicken manure, but rotting palms are the main breeding site,” the BSI statement said.

Earlier this quarter, the Coordinator of the CRB response Task force from BSI Bob McFarlane, wrote letters to Members of Parliament to ask for their support.

This is to help their voters by encouraging them to destroy breeding sites, such as rooting palms logs and other rotting vegetation around towns, villages and plantations.

By COMFORT MAENI
In Gizo

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