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?
Monday, May 08, 2006
Posted 8:03 PM by Luigi
Coconut-eating rats plague Tuvalu
See also the FAO website.
UNITED NATIONS, May 8 (UPI) -- The United Nations will funnel $200,000 to a tiny Pacific Island country to help it fight the biggest threat its local economy faces: tree-leaping rats.
Young coconuts are at risk on the nine coral islands of Tuvalu, where nimble black rats jump between palms and gnaw through the shells, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported Monday. Coconuts and copra (a coconut oil) are a major island export.
The rats -- whose scientific name is Rattus rattus -- are not only eating the country out of its prized crop. Their insatiable appetites are also destroying the diet of the world's largest land invertebrates, the agency said.
Coconut crabs, usually the size of small cats, dine on fallen coconuts, which they wrangle with claws capable of lifting rocks weighing 30 kilos. Once ubiquitous in the Pacific Islands, their numbers are dwindling because of their slow growth rates and their popularity on some islands as a culinary delicacy.
The FAO is bringing Tuvalu's rodent expert out of retirement to oversee its pesticide plan. The agency will fill recycled Australian pineapple cans with poisoned bait and dangle the cans just above the ground -- too high for coconut crabs but within reach of the rats, who can leap up to a meter into the air. The agency will also wrap the island's palm trunks in metal sheets, to keep rats from scurrying to the top.
The rats, however, do not threaten Tuvalu's most reliable revenue source. The country has leased its internet domain suffix -- .tv -- to an American Web hosting company for $50 million.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.