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CBS News Interested in the RPW Invasion in California

By Christina Hoddle |

 

The Red Palm weevil (RPW) problem in southern California has picked up local news interest. Bill Whitaker and his news team from CBS evening news came to UCR on the 16th of February 2011 to interview Dr. Mark Hoddle about research that is being conducted at UCR on this pest. This interview was part of a series of interviews being conducted with those involved in the RPW technical working group, a team that has been put together to manage the incipient RPW invasion in Laguna Beach, Orange County California. Hoddle discussed the current RPW situation in Southern California, talked about what was currently being done to monitor this pest, and finally what future landscapes may look like if this pest establishes, and potential impacts on the Coachella Valley date industry and native palm oases in the desert. The Hoddle lab had on display the various Red Palm Weevil samples obtained from collaborators around the world. These RPW samples will be used in a DNA study in an attempt to determine the origins of the RPW population found in Laguna Beach. The final program is expected to air sometime in March/April 2011 once CBS has finished conducting interviews with other members of the technical working group, nursery growers, and date palm growers.

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