DOI Approves $2.65 Million for Brown Tree Snake Control

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Washington, D.C. -The U.S. Department of Interior has approved a $2.65 million dollar grant to help control the Brown Tree Snake.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo made the announcement in the release below:

READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s release in FULL below:

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has approved $2.65 million for brown tree snake (BTS) control in Fiscal Year 2012 funding. The funding will be divided between Guam, Hawaii and the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). The Guam Department of Agriculture will receive $200,000 to continue native species restoration, including the Cocos Island Restoration Project, an effort to recover the Ko’Ko’ or Guam Rail which was extirpated by the brown tree snake. Funding from OIA and the Department of Defense was awarded earlier this year to support the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services’ BTS interdiction program on Guam.

The APHIS National Wildlife Research Center received additional funding to continue the development of artificial bait delivery systems. The CNMI Department of Land and Natural Resources also received $366,579 to operate its interdiction program. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received $1.1 million to continue research efforts to develop better tools and methods for capturing juvenile snakes. Further, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture received $262,420 to continue its interdiction program and its detector dog program. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received funding for the development of a five year strategic plan, in order to ensure funding is utilized for the highest priority activities.

“I thank Secretary Babauta for working to continue these vital programs,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “The brown tree snake has had a negative impact on Guam’s ecosystem, infrastructure and economy and it impacts our health and safety. This funding seeks to reverse some of the damage caused by the introduction of the brown tree snake to Guam and to prevent its introduction to other U.S. jurisdictions, including Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands.”

Tony Babauta, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas, added, “I am pleased to provide this funding to Guam, Hawaii and the CNMI, and continue the successful partnership between OIA, and federal, regional and local agencies. Together, these funds strengthen our first and second lines of defense against the invasive brown tree snake by supporting the development of new methods of control and ensuring the snake does not enter new jurisdictions.”