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Hawaii Invasive Species Council Communication

Little Fire Ants (LFA) on Oahu 
Response Update


Wasmannia auropunctata on chopstick with peanut butter

In December 2013, The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) confirmed that Little Fire Ant (LFA) had spread from Hawaii Island to Oahu and Maui.  An inter-agency team led by HDOA was mobilized to respond to this pest emergency.  This update is specific to the Oahu based response.

Please find below the latest update or click here to view/download as PDF.

Contact Randy Bartlett, LFA Response Liaison Officer, with any questions related to this update.
Randy Bartlett: Randal.T.Bartlett@hawaii.gov or (808) 870-6443

*Monthly LFA updates will be sent to the full HISC Listserv, to opt-out of the updates, please respond to this email indicating you do not wish to receive them.

For more information, click on the links below:

April 6 - 24, 2015
  • In this operational period, the LFA ICS team conducted eight surveys on priority sites on Oahu. The two new staff from the Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL), now stationed on Oahu, have doubled/tripled survey capacity in conjunction with the continued partnership with the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC). Surveys are being conducted 2-3 days per week, with priorities being nurseries at high risk for inadvertently harboring LFA.
  • LFA Treatments were conducted at Waimanalo and Mililani Mauka on April 16-17, 2015.  The team continues having very good results in Mililani Mauka with homeowners reporting they are not finding LFA after seven of eight scheduled treatments. After the next (eighth) treatment scheduled for May 28-29, 2015, HDOA Plant Pest Control (PPC) personnel will wait three months (to allow any undetectable LFA populations to grow to detectable levels) before following up with a large comprehensive survey in August-September of 2015 at both sites.
  • An LFA survey downstream of the current buffer and treatment area in Waimanalo to just mauka of Kalanianaole Highway was conducted from April 7-9, 2015 with no LFA detected in over 1,000 vials laid out along over 2,600 meters of streambed.
  • Also in Waimanalo; the family claiming ownership of the state-owned agricultural lot under management of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, which is being treated for LFA, caused concern that their clearing and grubbing activities on the lot may inadvertently spread LFA to other sites beyond the current buffer and treatment area. The family did not modify the area within the LFA treatment buffer although some equipment/material was removed from the site. Personnel from the HDOA Plant Pest Control (PPC) and Agriculture Resource Management (ARM) Divisions worked with law enforcement to remove the occupiers from the property uneventfully on April 16, 2015.
  • Eight outreach events presented LFA information to 243 community members during this period; including Green Saturday at Manoa Public Library – part of its Earth Month activities.
  • Little fact about Little Fire Ants: Wasmannia auropunctata is native to South America, but is rapidly spreading across many tropical regions, including the Pacific Islands. It is well documented as causing devastating damage to ecological and agricultural systems, and also poses significant human health risks.
  Tropical Fire Ant                            Little Fire Ant, Electric Ant                Red Imported Fire Ant
Status: Common in dry lowlands    Status: Two sites known on Oahu    Status: Not known in Hawaii
    
This report uses the best information available at the time of writing and is not an official record of the project. Its purpose is to update partner agencies and concerned individuals about project progress. Questions regarding information in the report can be addressed by calling the incident command post at 973-9528. Mahalo.
DAVID IGE
GOVERNOR OF HAWAII
 
SHAN TSUTSUI
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
 


VOTING MEMBERS
 
SUZANNE CASE
DEPARTMENT OF LAND & NATURAL RESOURCES
 
SCOTT ENRIGHT
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
 
KEITH KAWAOKA, D.Env.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
 
MARIA GALLO, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I
 
LEO ASUNCION
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM, OFFICE OF PLANNING
 
DAVID RODRIGUEZ
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
 Your HISC Support Team:

Joshua Atwood, HISC Program Supervisor: 808.587.4154  or Joshua.P.Atwood@hawaii.gov

Randy Bartlett, HISC Interagency Coordinator: 808.870.6443 or Randal.T.Bartlett@hawaii.gov

Emily Montgomery, Planner: 808.587.4185 or Emily.C.Montgomery@hawaii.gov

Copyright © 2015 Hawaii Invasive Species Council, All rights reserved.
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