Washington, D.C.

The Tokelau Islands consist of three atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) approximately 500 km north of Western Samoa. Their numerous islets are formed mainly of coral sand and rubble with no standing freshwater. Sixty-one plant species have been recorded, 13 of these being introduced and 10 being adventives. There are three vegetation zones, the beach, the beach-crest, and the interior coconut/fern zone with the physiognomy of a humid tropical forest. Marine invertebrates have not been studied.

Invasive species pose one of the greatest ecological threats to America’s lands and waters. Their control can be complex and expensive and is often conducted in perpetuity; their harm can be irreversible. Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) actions can reduce the long-term costs and economic burden that invasive species have on communities.