March 11, 2013
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will hold an informational meeting on Maui to present plans for the release of a natural enemy of the fireweed, a plant that is toxic to most livestock and which has infested hundreds of thousands of acres of Maui pasture land.
The meeting will be held on:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Hannibal Tavares Community Center
91 Pukalani St
Fireweed, also known as Madagascan Ragwort, has daisy-like flowers. The plant, however, is highly toxic and can kill cattle and horses. Long term, it will even kill sheep and goats which are known to feed on it. Fireweed infestations are so extensive on Maui and Hawaii Island that other control methods are cost-prohibitive and impractical.
HDOA has extensively studied the natural predator, the Madagascan fireweed moth for more than 13 years. After reviews at State and Federal levels, final approval for release was granted in December 2012. The moths have already been released on Hawaii Island. The planned release on Maui will represent a collaborative effort between island ranchers, the University of Hawaii, and HDOA.
For more information, view a previous news release at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/2013-news-releases/biocontrol-moth-released-to-fight-invasive-fireweed/