10 years ago the Coconut Rhinoceros beetle (CRB) was first discovered on the western Pacific island of Guam. Since then, these shoe-shine black, miniature invaders have spread to all parts of the island and are laying waste to the local coconut and oil palm population. The economy, culture and ecology of Guam and other Pacific islands are intrinsically linked to the native palm species such that the rhino beetle poses a major threat. The indigenous peoples of Guam have a long history of weaving palm fronds, an artistry that is now at risk due to the rhino beetle. These trees are a symbol of tropic paradise, a motif that drives Guam’s primary industry; tourism. Continue reading
Breadfruit has been coined the new ‘super-fruit’ and according to some has the ability to alleviate world hunger. However, it has recently been discovered that breadfruit may also have a very different role in saving lives. Scientists have isolated three chemicals produced in the male inflorescence of the breadfruit that are extremely effective at repelling flying insects, the most significant of which are mosquitoes.