At the National Tropical Botanical Garden, we are committed to the biosecurity of Hawaiʻi to protect our home’s irreplaceable biodiversity and support the wellbeing of our communities. We vigilantly safeguard against and monitor for invasive species at our gardens on Kauaʻi and Maui, working in partnership with many organizations to implement best practices and support early detection.
We host a system of traps set by the Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee (KISC) to detect the presence of coconut rhinoceros beetles (CRB). First reported on Oʻahu in 2013, this invasive insect has unfortunately started to spread on other islands. CRB poses a serious threat to the ecological health, cultural practices, and economic wellbeing of our island communities. An adult CRB was recently caught in one of the KISC traps set in our Garden on the south shore of Kauaʻi.
The discovery of CRB here demonstrates that the insect is moving into new areas on Kaua’i. We are implementing proactive measures to control and mitigate CRB at our gardens and support the efforts of KISC and other partners to stem this threat.
We urge the public to be vigilant and report any sightings of CRB or unusual activity in palm trees. Early detection is crucial; look for scalloped edges and other unusual damage on palm fronds, including boring holes. Find helpful information at www.crbhawaii.org and report sightings to Kauai Invasive species Committee at KISC@hawaii.edu or (808) 821-1490.
This situation underscores the importance of our collaborative efforts in monitoring and protecting our shared environment. Thank you everyone for your support and cooperation in these critical conservation efforts.