Brown tree snake sighted in Lower Base

Another sighting of a brown tree snake on Saipan occurred, according to the Department of Lands and Natural Resources-Division of Fish and Wildlife.

DLNR-DFW said this has been the fourth sighting of a brown tree snake in four months this year.

Unlike previous sightings that occurred in Dandan, DFW said a brown tree snake was sighted in the vicinity of the Lower Base industrial area.

As a result, the U.S. Geological Survey Brown Tree Snake Rapid Response Team, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and DLNR-DFW are once again collaborating to conduct night searches, cut search transects, and set and check snake traps.

“The sighting occurred on April 1st,” USGS rapid response team coordinator Adam Knox told Saipan Tribune.

Knox and his team from Guam arrived on Saipan yesterday and immediately went to search mode last night. DLNR-DFW staff from Tinian and Rota are also on island to assist in this effort.

DLNR-DFW said snake searchers wearing safety vests will be carefully searching the densely vegetated area from around 6pm to 11pm nightly for the next several weeks,

A trained snake-searching dog will also assist in certain areas.

“The team is asking the general public, especially land owners and businesses, for their assistance and cooperation to allow the BTS Rapid Response Team access to their premises to conduct searches and set and check traps,” DLNR-DFW said.

They also reminded the public to not be alarmed if they see people with headlamps or flashlights walking around the vicinity of Lower Base.

After the first two sightings that occurred last January, two phases of searches were done in Dandan near the airport until February. The teams were unsuccessful in catching any snake and went to survey mode.

DLNR-DFW is also reminding the public to immediately kill a snake once they see it if they are able, otherwise, take a photo of it and call the snake hotline at 28-SNAKE (287-6253).

“Your cooperation and support is very much appreciated,” DLNR-DFW said.

For questions, the public may reach out to USFWS Brown Tree Snake coordinator Sylvan Igisomar at 664-6014 or DFW director Manny Pangelinan at 664-6000.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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