October each year is Little Fire Ant Awareness Month but that doesn’t mean we should forget them again come November 1. Keeping our island safe from this harmful invasive pest is an important kuleana for everyone. Free test kits remain available at your local library through the end of November. Testing is quick and easy:
The last mongoose caught on Kauai on October 11, 2016.
On Sunday, June 18th, there was one eye witness report of a possible mongoose sighting from a couple in Princeville. Due to the amazing Kauai community and their diligence in helping protect Kauai’s native seabird colonies from the predation of mongoose, the one possible sighting was reported to multiple agencies. [Read more…]
Last week, Kauai began celebrating the 5th annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week with events across the island. This Friday, March 10th, Kauai will be well represented at the HISAW Proclamation and Awards Ceremony on Oahu with 3 rewards going to Kauai residents (check out who they are below).
Ah, the New Year. Starting fresh. KISC has a lot on our horizon this year. For those of you who receive our Guardian of the Garden Isle emails, you know that we recently finalized our new five-year strategic action plan, which will be available on our website in February. Our new strategic plan was developed by KISC with the help of partners and the community. Strategic decisions were made based on funding, staff, capacity, as well as early detection and invasive species management science. [Read more…]
Hawaiian style Christmas Tree – Norfolk Island Pine Photo by Forest & Kim Starr
The holidays are here! Santa is coming! And Christmas trees are arriving to the islands by the boatload. It is estimated that around 200,000 Noble Fir and Douglas Fir trees are shipped to Hawaii each year, with the majority of them grown in the Pacific Northwest. These lovely trees, members of the Pinaceae family, attract Hawaii residents with their pleasant pine fragrance and lush green foliage. Most everyone wants a piece of the Christmas tree tradition, right?! But do you know what else these trees attract? Invasive species! [Read more…]
LIHUE – Live mongoose capture at Lihue Airport. On October 11, 2016 at 8:15am, Craig Kaneshige, Clyde Ragasa, and Eric-John Garcia of Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and the Kauai Invasive Species Committee (KISC) Field Crew, captured a live juvenile mongoose in the aircargo bay at the Lihue Airport. [Read more…]
It is the second annual Statewide Little Fire Ant (LFA) Awareness Month! While every month is important in the invasive species battle, this month we are offering additional activities for you to get involved in protecting Kauai from this nasty invader.
It has been 1.5 years since we have found the only known Kauai LFA population to be at undetectable levels, and it takes a total of three years to be declared eradicated. Woohoo! This is good news for Kauai, as long as we keep new infestations from entering the island. Little Fire Ants are tiny, only a ¼ inch long, and hitchhike quite well. They travel in plants, plant material, yard tools, backpacks, pockets of your clothes, and cars. Please take a moment this month to do your part in protecting Kauai from LFA. [Read more…]
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is an international organization made up of over 10,000 members that facilitate global environmental solutions and provide governments and institutions with tools and guidelines to achieve universal conservation goals. Every four years the IUCN members, along with thousands of environmental and conservation decision makers, policy leaders, academia, and green industry workers come together to find management solutions to the greatest environmental priorities facing the planet. It is the “Olympics” of conservation, if you will – and this year Hawaii is hosting this event.
Miconia stand in Big Island forest – Photo: Forest & Kim Starr
Miconia calvescens, Velvet Tree, the Purple Plague, or Green Cancer; it has many names, is one of the worst invasive species in Hawaii, and one of the most destructive plants in tropical rainforests throughout the Pacific. While populations on Kauai remain minimal, we still take infestations of this plant very seriously. One Miconia tree can produce over 20 million seeds per year, with a seed bank viability of up to 20 years. Miconia is known to create dense monotypic stands, shading out the entire understory of a forest, and drastically change the functions of ecosystems. This plant has always been KISC’s #1 target. We have held a fixed Miconia schedule of once every 4 weeks, whereby, the crew heads out into the forest on foot, collecting seedlings and treating mature plants. However, as of 2016, the KISC crew has been focusing on Miconia efforts twice a week. [Read more…]
As stated in the previous blog post, Springing into Action, KISC has been quite busy this year. Each department in our organization has been working diligently on different assignments. Outreach staff has finally paved the way for the Pono Endorsement Program launch, the field crew is closing in on a few of our target species, and the KISC Early Detection Botanist, Kelsey Brock, is working on finalizing a new list of potential plants for KISC to take on as targets.
Spring is here! As the cool mornings drift away, and the warmer temperatures encourage you outside, you may notice there is a lot of work to do in your yard. Well, the same goes for KISC. The entire island is much like our backyard. While invasive species know no boundaries, KISC works across the island on private, federal, state, and county lands. And, my oh my, we have been busy this spring. The next few blog posts will highlight some of our specific targets, present updates on each, and explain what we’ve been up to lately.
KISC crew removing False Kava on north shore Kauai
Its the 4th annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week! Throughout the week, KISC would like to acknowledge all the hard work that has gone into invasive species management and removal, and also like to bring extra awareness to the persistent threat of invasive species in Hawaii. Invasive Species pose some of the greatest challenges to conservationists, and cost the US over $100 billion in economic losses annually. Likewise, over 40% of the the threatened and endangered species in the US are at risk due to invasive species.
Invasive Species have no boundaries, do not care about borders, and they aren’t picky. They thrive in high elevation ecosystems, on slopes of hills and mountains, alongside roadways, in state land, fed land, and yes, in your backyard. You may not think about it much, but the flora and fauna in the forest right now (this very minute), are affecting your yard and your livelihood. Reciprocally, what is in your back yard can affect the forest.
Native forest bird – Elepaio. Habitat restricted to >1000m elevation due to mosquitos
Hawai‘i is known as the endangered species capital of the world. Home to some of the worlds rarest plants and declining numbers of endemic birds, Hawai‘i’s ecosystem is delicate but rich in biodiversity. According to the Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources, nearly 90 percent of the 1,400 Hawaiian endemic plant species are found no where else in the world1. And while the state of Hawai‘i makes up less than one percent of the United States landmass, over 40 percent of the nation’s threatened and endangered plant species are found in Hawaii.