Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week proclaimed

A virtual proclamation signing was held for Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week. (PNC screen capture)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has officially proclaimed May 24 to 30 as Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week.

Guam continues its fight against invasive species that threaten the island’s ecosystem — species such as the Coconut Rhino Beetle, which continues to destroy the heart of Guam’s coconut trees, and the brown tree snake which killed off many of Guam’s native birds.

During the proclamation ceremony, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said: “As I’ve said before, invasive species are everyone’s responsibility. While many of us may not see the impact of invasive species today, we will long term if we don’t act now. Prior to the introduction of the brown tree snake, our island’s birds thrived. Walking through our jungles you’d hear birds songs. Today those jungles are silent because most of our native birds are critically endangered.”

The Governor then went on to remind the people of Guam that invasive species compound the effects of climate change. She said that it will take a community effort to eliminate the invasive species and to help preserve the island.

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“Fewer coconut trees mean fewer roofs to hold our shorelines from storm surges, with climate change and stronger weather events, this could be devastating in the years to come. And sadly, fewer native trees mean no more native jungles for us to explore and for our wildlife to inhabit. This is sad reality if we don’t take action. That’s why we’re here today. The more you know, the more you can take action, Without the community’s participation, management efforts will always fall short,” Leon Guerrero said.

The Governor then went to sign the proclamation to make the last week of May dedicated to Guam Invasive Species awareness.

“I encourage all Guamanians to learn more about the invasive species that affect our island so that we may do our part in protecting our island’s resources,” Leon Guerrero said.