Kauai scientists use painbtall guns to combat invasive plant speciesUPDATED 12:27 AM HST Jul 20, 2013Video Transcript
Using paint-ball guns to get rid of invasive species. It's actually a little more complicated than that, but that's part of the technology scientist are using on Kauai... Using these paint ball guns attached to helicopters... 25:44 ---- GUN SHOOTING University of Hawaii scientist Dr. James Leary and his crew are battling invasive plants. They've spent 6 years developing Herbicide Ballistic Technology... a combination of paint ball guns and herbicide capsules.. 11:29:04 THE PROCESS OF MANUFACTURING THESE HERBICIDE CAPSULES IS IDENTICAL TO PAINTBALL CAPSUELS... BUT INSTEAD OF TARGETTING PEOPLE IN RECREATION, WE'LL BE TARGETTING INCIPIENT WEEDS IN THESE NATURAL AREAS" Once they spot invasive plants like Miconia that are hard to reach by foot in the deep and forests of Kauai.. they Point and shoot. PHONER - 43:36 we won't deny its not fun. NATS of GUYS SHOOTING THE GUNS Miconia, also known as the 'purple plague' is already prevalent on the Big Island according to Leary, and has devastated other islands like Tahiti by taking over two-thirds of the forest there according to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council. 49:40 Big concern is aggressive nature in critical habitat endangered specisa this is competeive plant and exclude native vegetation," To address environmental concern, Leary has been working with the Hawaii invasive species council and state agencies to regulate its use. 11:31:00 THE TECHNOLOGY WE'RE USING MILI ALLIQUODS OF HERBICIDE SO WE CAN IDENTIFY THAT LOWEST AMOUNT OF HERBICIDE NECESSARY TO CONTROL INCIPIENT WEEDS IN THE AREAS," Leary and his crew are focusing on Kauai, Maui, and Oahu to tackle Miconia and other invasive plants. The key is to detect early and execute. 50: 39 we get better return when focus on small isolated patches so they don not become big huge problem Leary has conducted 3 operations since last year. They're planning another one next month on maui.. And one on Oahu in Manoa this fall.