Thursday | December 14, 2017
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State briefs for November 16

Wildlife agencies discuss brown tree snakes

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Wildlife agencies are meeting this week on Guam to provide updates on numerous projects targeting the invasive brown tree snake, which has proved detrimental to Guam’s native bird population.

Increased inspections, awareness programs and effective baiting methods are the main talking points.

James Dixon of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services said that during the past 10 years, 202,033 brown tree snakes have been captured, primarily in four high-risk areas on the island. The snakes were captured through trapping systems, nocturnal operations and canine detection programs.

Other Pacific islands have already prepared and trained for the possibility of snakes entering their ports.

In Hawaii, port authorities do thorough checks of items coming from Guam and other areas known to have the invasive species, according to Wilfred Leon Guerrero, a military specialist with the state Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Branch.

Panel recommends ban on certain sunscreens

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A Maui County Council committee recommended sunscreens containing certain chemicals be banned in the county.

The committee on Monday introduced a bill that would prohibit the sale and use of sunscreen carrying oxybenzone and octinoxate, ingredients that have grown controversial during the past few years.

Joe DiNardo, a retired scientist and toxicologist, says if passed, Maui County’s ban would be the first in the country.

Supporters of a ban think it would help protect coral reefs, while opponents contend the ingredients are safe for use.

Samples of swimming and snorkeling spots around Maui found growing levels of oxybenzone and octinoxate in the water.

 

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