A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Posted 8:45 PM by Luigi
Did Easter Island get 'ratted' out?
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Rats and Europeans are likely to blame for the mysterious demise of Easter Island, a team of anthropologists suggests.
The fate of the people who built hundreds of 10-ton stone statues on the South Pacific island and then vanished has long been seen as a cautionary environmental tale. Natives deforested the island paradise to transport the statues, the story goes, triggering erosion that damaged farmlands. And then they supposedly bumped themselves off in a cannibalistic civil war in about 1650.
But anthropologist Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii at Manoa first blames the Polynesian rat. The rats probably deforested the 66-square-mile island's 16 million palm trees. "Palm tree seeds are filet mignon to rats," Hunt says.
Working with colleagues at the island's anthropology museum and elsewhere since 2001, Hunt's team has undertaken an extensive archaeological survey of the island:
Instead, the disappearance of Easter Islanders probably was caused by visiting Dutch traders in the 1700s, who brought diseases and, later, slave raiding, says Hunt, who presented his findings at an American Anthropological Association meeting last week.
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