Mongoose caught on Kauai where invasive pest not established
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii agriculture officials are concerned after a live mongoose was caught on Kauai, an island that doesn’t have an established population of the invasive pest that threatens native birds.
The state Department of Agriculture said a mongoose was found Tuesday in one of 15 traps set up after one of the animals was spotted at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Mongooses found in Hawaii are native to India and were originally introduced in 1883 by the sugar industry to control rats in sugarcane fields on Maui, Molokai and Oahu.
But it turned out that the animals only had a minor impact on rat populations.
The weasel-like animals are now widespread on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui and Molokai. But there are no known populations on Lanai and Kauai.
There have been previous sightings of mongooses on Kauai. In 2016, a mongoose was trapped in the cargo area at Lihue Airport. In 2012, a mongoose was trapped at Nawiliwili Harbor and another was trapped near a resort in Lihue.
They prey on the eggs and hatchlings of native ground nesting birds and endangered sea turtles.
The other remaining traps are being monitored.