Environment - Protection - Samoa

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 survey of selected Micronesian islands was conducted in 1998 and was discussed in a previous report2. This report is based on perceptions gained from a trip to American Samoa from 16 to 23 July 1999, including the islands of Tutuila, Ofu, Olosega and Ta'u.

Invasive alien species are recognised as one of the leading threats to biodiversity and also impose enormous costs on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and other human enterprises, as well as on human health. Rapidly accelerating human

In 2001, the Government of Samoa released the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) for the conservation and sustainable development of the country's biological resources. The NBSAP identifies invasive alien species (IAS) as being one of the greatest threats to Samoa's

1. During a recent survey around Upolu, Savaii and Nuutele the Yellow Crazy Ant was both observed and collected as samples in different locations.

The Jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus) was first recorded in Upolu in 1965, followed by the Common myna (Acridotheres tristis) in 1988 (Watling, 2001). It is believed they were introduced to control livestock ticks and unexpectedly became an invasive species; over the past two decades their populations have increased dramatically. They are now found throughout Samoa with high density populations concentrated in the Apia town area and neighboring villages

Nuutele Island hosts a diverse range of plant species, significant populations of land and seabirds, fruit bats, coconut crabs and turtles. It is a small island with a total land mass of about 108ha and located south east of Upolu Island at 1.8km off the Aleipata coast. It is an important offshore island on this part of Samoa because not only does it hold a diversity of species but one of the first islands to include or part of a Marine Protected Area.

To determine the top 20 manageable invasive plants in Samoa and to then prioritises the work that needs to be done to manage them effectively. The workshop will aim:

The Pacific islands of Oceania cover almost 15% of the world’s surface and are characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity. The region is characterised by thousands of isolated small coral atolls and higher volcanic islands, which has led to the high diversity of species found today. In fact, the number of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth (endemic species) is extremely high - often up to 90% for particular groups. Often, these rare and endemic species are adapted to specialised habitats and limited to small areas of a few islands.