Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 18 Aug 2018 12am

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    Friday, August 17, 2018-6:57:52A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Official: DLNR close to eradicating coconut rhino beetles on Rota

DEPARTMENT of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Anthony Benavente said they are close to eradicating the coconut rhino beetles on Rota.

“It is looking good,” Benavente said regarding the CRB eradication on Rota.

In an interview, he said DLNR-Rota has encountered a very low number of CRB’s in the past few months.

“In April, they found four adult CRB. In May, they did not find any and they only found one in June,” Benavente said, adding that many breeding grounds have been cleared.

But he  said they cannot say that Rota is officially free of CRB’s, which were discovered in October last year.

“We cannot say that they are officially gone. But again the number is now very minimal... In the past, we saw so many larvae and adult CRB’s in the crops. We used to catch hundreds of them,” Benavente said.

The DLNR secretary said  their personnel on the ground are still working hard to determine if there are other breeding grounds on island.

DLNR, he added, has developed a strategic-action plan that aims to prevent, detect and eradicate the CRB.

He said the plan calls for building and maintaining capacity including rapid response, risk analysis and public engagement.

“We are happy that the U.S. Department of the Interior provided us with $181,000. The money went directly to Rota for operations in eradicating the CRB,” he said, adding that the funds allowed them to purchase equipment and supplies, and deploy the needed manpower.