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Importing beetles in CA

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I wonder what the implications are really. . .

 

I think it'd be cool to see Indonesian stags or even the endangered D. Satanas beetle established in California. Does that make me a biological terrorist? I know in Hawaii it has become a huge problem. What, with a new species established every week…? I think it's week; maybe day! Who knows. But most aren't like pets or accidentals, something like 10%. Here (http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/docs/council/HISC%20Presentation.pdf) under statics to consider.

 

Just curious. Sucks to be a palm in Hawaii.

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You must understand that the California Department of Food and Agriculture allows the importation of those invertebrates into California, but it is the United States Department of Agriculture that controls the importation of organisms into the United States.

You can take that list as a list of organisms you can legally import into California without a permit from other states. You would require a permit from the USDA to import organisms into any state from outside the United States.

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Yes, I checked with the USDA on this and they were aware of the PDF in question and said it was misleading.

 

It is only legal to import or ship Lucanidae into CA (from any country or state!) if you have a USDA or FWS permit.

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Does that make me a biological terrorist?

 

That might be a bit far-fetched, but we do have a long history of 'harmless' introductions that turn out very bad in the end. It is very difficult to predict the outcome of a new species in an ecosystem. But there are plenty of devastating examples of intentional introductions gone bad - like kudzu and starling.

 

Hawaii is not alone, invasives are a huge problem in California too. CA is having a very hard time dealing with many invaders - such as brown headed cowbirds, and the new nemesis polyphagous shot hole borer, bullfrogs, bass & sunfish, the list goes on. And of course we have tons and tons of invasive arundo, eucalyptus, pepper, and palm trees (most of our palm trees in CA are also non-native). Take a walk anywhere around southern CA and the landscape seems dominated by invasive plants.

 

Across the nation we are contending with emerald ash borers and asian long horned beetles, zebra and quagga mussels, the huge asian carp issue in the midwest, the list is endless.

 

Now, I have a hard time seeing how a stag beetle could have any sort of impact on the scale of those species I mentioned, but I certainly would err on the side of caution and say its a bad idea.

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