HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 580: 07 September 2011

NES and Tereora College working together to spread awareness on invasive species

RAROTONGA, SEPTEMBER 5, 2011: The National Environment Service (NES), in conjunction with Tereora College Vocation students will be carry out awareness raising activities in Ruaau, Arorangi from the 6-8 September 2011. The programme is an initiative between the Biodiversity Conservation Unit of NES and the college. The programme aims to raise the profile of invasive species in the community and identify the roles the community can play in controlling invasive species. This programme will complement eradication efforts currently underway on Mauke
The Clerodendrum quadriloculare, or Starburst flower (pictured above) is the focus of this exercise. This plant has a spectacular flower, which is in bloom at the moment; however the plant is highly invasive. The plant prefers full sun but is more than capable of growing under dense native forest canopy. If unattended, the plant can put out many sucker/shoots around its base which allows it to spread. Eradication is difficult, if the plant is established and can be achieved through both manual removal or herbicide application, although the former is referred (manual removal). Severing on the stem does not kill the plant but rather encourages it to put out more suckers/shoots.
The NES recommends the following;
1. Planting of this species should be discouraged;
2. Early eradication is preferable;
3. Manual removal is preferable to herbicide methods.
Invasive species have the potential to kill our indigenous species which can adversely impact on our entire ecosystem. The control of establish invasive species requires financial and human resources which could be better spent on improving health and education. The Mile-a-Minute and Balloon Vine are common invasive species present on the island and impacting on ecosystems.
The NES is asking for community cooperation during this period and to be mindful of our students in the community. The NES will also be interested in hearing the views of communities on other invasive species while we are conducting this awareness programme.
Protection of our indigenous species requires the efforts of all members of our society, both young and old, let’s work together for our environment.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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