Protect our palm trees – please read this information carefully, look at the pix of the wicked beetle and keep your eyes open – Vai without palm trees??? No thanks!
We are very saddened to have to tell members and supporters that, last week, Rosemary found a dead male specimen of the destructive Red Palm Weevil in the square in Elounda. This insect is a threat to the endemic Cretan Palm forests at Vai and Preveli and every effort needs to be taken to try to stop its progress. It has been found in Aghios Nikolaos and along the coast between Heraklion and Milatos, where many infected trees have already died.
All the relevant authorities have been informed and we will let you know what steps are being taken to control this threat.
In the meantime, we are sending out a photograph of this weevil. If you find this insect, please destroy it and keep the remains. Please photograph it and send details to us at Flowers of Crete, so that we can pass the information on to the authorities. Severely affected trees have to be destroyed, but other trees in the area can be sprayed and pheremone traps can be set to capture flying weevils.
As you can see from the attached photo, which is the weevil that Rosemary found, it is a large insect and a strong flyer.
Rosemary and I have been in touch with Kallia Pediatitis at MAICH – the Mediterranean Agricultural Institute – who has made a comprehensive study of the Cretan Palm and we are taking advice from her on the ways that Flowers of Crete can help with passing on information. The town council of Elounda is also aware of the situation and will be taking steps to deal with it.
John Fielding, co-author of Flowers of Crete, has generously offered to write an article for our next newsletter and there will be more information on the threats to P. theophrastii in the October issue, which will be sent out early next week.
Please pass this information on to anyone on Crete who may be interested in this problem. The more people who understand the dangers, the better the chances of making a difference will be.
Julia Jones, FLS
President and Founder
Flowers of Crete