Guam – The Asan Beach War In The Pacific Memorial Park could be the next to lose coconut trees from the coconut rhinoceros beetle. Although most of the trees at the park should survive, it looks like some are already beyond saving and will have to be cut down.
It looks like the Asan Beach War in The Pacific Memorial Park will be the next public park to lose coconut trees to the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle. Coconut Rhino Beetle Operations Chief Roland Quitugua says most of the trees can be saved but some will eventually need to be cut down.
“What we’re gonna do is remove the half a dozen trees in there that are mortally wounded,” said Quitugua adding, “the Asan park if you look at the trees along the beach actually look pretty good. There’s some signs of some damage in there but really low incidence but if you take a look at the trees along the road those have a high incidence of rhino beetle damage and the reason why that is is because there is a breeding site across the street.”
The coconut rhino beetle has already caused the removal of nearly all of the coconut trees down at Ypao Beach in Tumon. The invasive beetle is beginning to wreak havoc around the entire island of Guam. National Park Service acting superintendent Ron Born.
“I thought that’s very unfortunate most of our beaches are very beautiful around the island of Guam it’s not just within our parks it’s very unfortunate that it happens. We do hope we can find some type of solution whether it’s to save the current species of trees that we do have or whether we just need to find a species that’s more resilient but of course it’s an invasive species that affects all of the trees on Guam so we’re also working with the University on possible solutions,” said Born.
Quitugua says the plan for Asan is to first clean up the green waste in the area which provides breeding sites for the beetle and then install the new Rhino Beetle Barrel traps which he says have been ten times more effective than previous traps and finally they will have to remove at least about six of the coconut trees at Asan but he believes most will be saved
“I caution people, we get a lot of people call and say my trees are really bad they’re dead they’re dying and we’ve got to get rid of them and when I go in there and take a look at them they are not dead. They’re actually still very much alive. So, as long as the center growing point is growing and showing signs of life we want to keep that tree alive,” said Quitugua.
The coconut rhinoceros beetle is an invasive species that is not native to Guam. It first showed up in the village of Tumon but can now be found in every village of the island. Quitugua says the beetle has now spread into some areas of windward hills, Babulao Talofofo, and some valleys in Umatac.