Urgent Request for Help Re: Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle on the Waianae Coast

{Click to enlarge}Picture of Coconut Beetle. http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/hisaw2014/beetlebusters/

{Click to enlarge}Picture of Coconut Beetle. http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/hisaw2014/beetlebusters/

Hello Senator Shimabukuro, 

I am a biologist, and I work with the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) Project as a team leader where I help direct field operations. CRB is a new invasive species to Oahu. We are trying to eradicate the insect to protect our aina and our cultural resources. CRB attack coconut palms, palms, and many food crops such as taro, sugarcane, mango, papaya, etc. Their primary host species is the coconut palm, and they are very successful at killing coconut palms. In Palau, they killed 50% of the coconut palms there in 10 years. So it is a great concern for all of us to eradicate CRB.

I would like to ask for your help. We are having difficulty checking for breeding sites on private farms in the the Nanakuli area. CRB breed in moist mulch, and they don’t need very much to produce a lot of beetles. We have been reaching out to the community there, but since our project is new (1.5 years old) and underfunded (no dedicated outreach person), it has been slow going. We believe there is a breeding site in the Lualualei area (but it is not on base), and if it is not handled swiftly, the problem could be bad for Nanakuli, Waianae, and eventually all of Oahu. Is there something we can do together? Can you direct me to people or organizations that can help?

I appreciate your time and any help you can provide.


Lisa Chau, MS
CRB Field Team Leader
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Project
RCUH/Hawaii Dept of Agriculture



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