Proposal To Eradicate All Monkeys In Palau Introduced In House

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Invasive macaques in Angaur affecting lives of residents

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 24, 2014) – Del. Marhence Madrangchar has proposed the eradication of all monkeys in the country.

This proposal stemmed from the fact that the macaques in Angaur State have become invasive species and affecting the lives of the residents in Angaur.

It has been observed that the monkeys in Angaur State prefer to eat the betel nut and taro that the people depend on. As there are more monkeys than people on the island, subsistence farming is nearly impossible for the residents of Angaur who have to compete with the monkeys to survive.

In House Bill 9-83-5, which the delegate introduced yesterday, it is stated that a study conducted to assess the complete eradication of macaque monkeys from the heavily-infested island of Angaur concluded that the eradication is possible but that it would cost up to $2 million.

According to Madrangchar, the bill shifts the costs of eradication to the owner of pet monkeys so that the national government bears only the costs of exterminating the invasive pests in the wild.

The bill prohibits ownership or possession of monkeys. The Director of Bureau of Public Safety shall euthanize or remove each monkey form the Republic.

The bill states that an owner of a monkey shall bear the cost to euthanize or remove the monkey from the Republic. The owner shall have 90 days from the effective date of this Act to euthanize or remove the monkey from the Republic.

The only exception for possession of a monkey is for purposes of research or experimentation or for any zoological display.

Any person violating this section shall be guilty of misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than six months or fined up to $500 or both.

The bill states that throughout the tropical areas of the world, long-tailed macaques are ubiquitous compared to most other monkey species and their population levels are considered of least concern and not necessarily threatened with extinction.

The bill has been referred to Resources, Fisheries and Agriculture Committee for review, after passing first reading.

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