USA

This is a continuation of the survey of islands in Micronesia and American Samoa for invasive plant species requested by the Pacific Islands Committee. Council of Western State Foresters. A

Invasive species affect each of our lives, all regions of the U.S., and every nation in the world. Society pays a great price for invasive species - costs measured not just in dollars, but also in unemployment, damaged goods and equipment, power failures, food and water shortages, environmental degradation, increased rates and severity of natural disasters, disease epidemics, and even lost lives. Stimulated by the rapid global expansion of trade, transport, and travel, invasive species and their costs to society are increasing at an alarming rate.

How do introduced species cause problems for biodiversity? What makes a species invasive? When humans introduce non-native species to a new environment, it can have disastrous impacts on native species and the entire ecosystem.

The Republic of Kiribati requested assistance from the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, to conduct a survey of invasive plant species of environmental concern. Similar surveys have been conducted in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Samoa and Tonga. The survey was carried out in August and September 2003.

As requested by the Pacific Islands Committee, Council of Western State Foresters, we conducted a survey of selected Micronesian islands for invasive plant species. The objectives were three-fold: (1) To identify species on the islands that are presently causing problems: (2) to identify species that,