Invasive mongoose raises concerns in Kauai

Several Hawaiian islands have mongooses, like this one seen on the Big Island. Kauai was thought to be free of the invasive species until one appeared in a trap. Credit: Jan H.

The appearance of an invasive mongoose in Kauai is raising concerns. Mongooses are found elsewhere in Hawaii after they were introduced by the sugar industry to control rats in sugar cane fields. They had minimal impact on rats, but they continue to threaten native birds and sea turtles. They are now widespread on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui and Molokai, but Kauai was thought to be free of the animals. Then, after one was spotted at Nawiliwili Harbor, a mongoose turned up in a trap set out by the state Department of Agriculture. That has raised concerns that more may be on the island. It’s not the first time a mongoose has been seen on Kauai. Previous sightings took place in 2012 and 2016.

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