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And the islanders' livelihood as well
Solomon Islands: Coconut rhinoceros beetle threatens palm trees
Over the past three years, the coconut rhinoceros beetle has ferociously attacked the massive plantations of Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited. Its general manager Craig Gibsone fears for future: "At the moment, I won't say that we're losing but we're certainly not winning. It just seems to be getting worse."
Abc.net.au reports how the discovery that the beetle has now reached the southern hemisphere's largest plantation in the Russell Islands, made the country's Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Taskforce ramp up its community campaign.
"The big issue at the moment: to try and persuade village farmers to change the habits of a lifetime," taskforce head Bob Macfarlane said. "In the past, they could let a palm die and fall down and rot. Now, every palm that dies must either be used in some way.” This is because the rhinoceros beetle larvae breed and feed on dead palm trees.
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