Pingtung to pay bounty for removal of invasive 'mile-a-minute vine'

07/14/2022 03:13 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Pingtung Forest District Office
Photo courtesy of the Pingtung Forest District Office

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) The Pingtung Forest District Office will hold a series of eight events at which residents will be offered a cash bounty to help remove an invasive plant that has been nicknamed "mile-a-minute vine" and "green cancer" because of its rampant growth.

The Mikania micrantha vine thrives in humid, sunny climates and is commonly found in orchards and fallow fields and on mountainsides at elevations below 1,000 meters, the forestry office said in a press release.

Listed among the world's 100 most invasive species, the vine grows densely on native plants and trees, smothering them by blocking their access to sunlight, the office said.

The mile-a-minute vine, as it is commonly called, is extremely hard to eradicate, as even small bits that fall to the ground can grow into new plants, the office said.

In a bid to control the spread of the "green cancer" before its blossoming season starts in winter, a series of eight events has been organized to pay residents NT$5 (US$0.17) for each kilogram of Mikania micrantha that they bring in from the wild, the forestry office said.

The "vines for cash" events will be held July 20 at the Majhou Township Office, July 27 at the Mudan Township Office, Aug. 5 in Laiyi Township's Gulou Village, and Aug. 8 at the Jian Gong Community Activity Center in Shinpi Township, according to the office.

In neighboring Kaohsiung, the activities will take place Aug. 9 at Jingyi Elementary School in Neimen District, Aug. 11 at the Yuanfu Neighborhood Community Development Association in Qishan District, Aug. 15 at the Chung Hsing Neighborhood Activity Center in Liugui District, and Aug. 22 at the Long Hsing Neighborhood Office.

Apart from those events, cash bounties for destruction of the invasive species will also be paid year-round at Forestry Bureau offices in Kaohsiung's Qishan and Liugui districts and in Chaochou and Hengchun in Pingtung, every Tuesday and Thursday, the office said.

Additional information on the scheduling and location of the events can be found on the Pingtung Forestry District Office's Facebook page.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Matthew Mazzetta)

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