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A tiny island and a giant beetle: A fight to save coconut palms in Vanuatu

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-25, 00:40 authored by Sulav PaudelSulav Paudel, Joe Pakoawia, Mark Ero, Sean MarshallSean Marshall

Vanuatu, a picturesque island nation in the South Pacific, is facing a dire threat to its beloved coconut palms—the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) (Fig. 1). Since its arrival in 2019, this invasive pest has wreaked havoc on the coconut plantations and coastline landscape on the island of Efate (Fig. 2), a small yet significant landmass spanning approximately 900 km2. This pest is posing a significant ecological and economic crisis (Paudel et al. 2023); therefore, the island nation has taken determined actions, from the immediate declaration of an emergency to an ongoing initiative, the Cash for Beetle program. The stakes are high because coconut palms are not just an economic mainstay but also hold deep cultural significance for the island nation.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in American Entomologist following peer review. The version of record is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmae004

History

Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Publication date

2024-03-21

Project number

  • PRJ0140317

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Journal title

American Entomologist

ISSN

2155-9902

Volume/issue number

70(1)

Page numbers

32–35

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