Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mystery deer growing rapidly in Hawaii

Residents of Big Island in Hawaii were mystified when deer showed up for the first time and wondered how they got there. Wildlife authorities in the said state think that someone dropped them to roam freely in the island. They also think that deer were pushed into the ocean from a boat and forced to paddle ashore as what the tracks along the coast indicate.

Photo by: Forest and Kim Starr
The wildlife authorities would want nothing but to eradicate them to avoid the same situation as what happened in other islands where they eat avocado farms, vineyard, and forests - destroying along the way the endangered species nesting ground.

Sam Ohu Gon III, senior scientist and cultural adviser at the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, said the deer could threaten Big Island plants that are important for the environment and Hawaiian culture. Among those are the uhiuhi tree, which has a hard wood ancient Hawaiians favored for making weapons and tools, and the ohelo berry, which is used to make jam and is sacred to Pele, the goddess of volcanoes.

The threat to the Big Island's native ecosystems is particularly serious as half the island still has native vegetation — a high ratio compared with other Hawaiian islands.
"It cannot be a free-for-all of hunting everywhere you want and the hell with everything else. Because what would that result in? That just spirals us down into less and less of what makes Hawaii unique," Gon said.

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