Guam – The Department of Agriculture has launched the “Kontra I Kulepbla” campaign in an effort to enlist the help of island residents in the fight against the Brown Tree Snake.
The campaign aims to provide homeowners with the information and techniques they need to keep the snakes out of their houses, and off their properties.
Department of AG Wildlife Biologist Cheryl Calaustro spoke about the program today at the Rotary Club of Northern Guam.
She said the methods employed now to combat the Brown Tree Snake are helping to decrease their numbers, but even more progress can be made if homeowners are made more aware of how to combat the invasive snake.
“Things that we’re doing for Kontra I Kulepbla are things that people can do on our own homes. So we have workshops for homeowners to know how to handle snakes when they find them, what they should do. We’ve also done brown tree snake boot camps at Cocos Island. We’ve taken students, teachers so they can see the differences Guam between an island that has snakes and an island, like Cocos, that doesn’t. If you go to Cocos, there’s plenty wildlife, plenty birds” said Calaustro.
“Obviously the lost of wildlife is one,” is one of the major problems caused by the brown tree snake said Calaustro. She said the snake has “basically eaten many of our birds into extinctions. There are health and human concerns as well although they’re not fatal. They can bite so it can be scary and could pose a risk to infants. Another thing is that they are a source of power outages. And of course, agricultural impacts. If you own a farm, raising chickens, that would be hard with the brown tree snakes.”
Calaustro adds that she hopes Guam will be snake free one day. “In order to have a snake free Guam, we need the help of the whole island because even just that one snake on Guam, if it’s pregnant, it’ll have more so once we have areas that are snake free, we definitely want people on board to maintain that. We try to garnish support for that. We definitely need to work together.”
For more information on Kontra I Kulepbla, visit www.dawr.guam.gov.