(LEHUA ISLAND) – “100% success,” is how a researcher with Island Conservation describes this week’s non-lethal bait experiment on this small island, 17 miles west of Kauai, just off the northern tip of Niihau. State, federal, and non-profit partners conducted helicopter application of bait that is non-toxic, which they hope will ultimately lead to the use of rodent bait to eliminate Lehua’s rat population. Invasive rats are the primary predator of three federally-listed and/or endangered and threatened candidate seabird species that could establish breeding colonies on Lehua. Newell’s shearwaters, Hawaiian petrel, and the Band-rumped storm petrel may have been nesting there prior to the introduction of rats and rabbits. Rabbits have been eradicated from the island.

HONOLULU - The Department of Land and Natural Resources will keep closed its coastal and low-lying state parks and forest areas (including wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and game management areas) on all islands on Thursday morning until staff are able to monitor adjacent ocean conditions for safety before reopening them.

(HONOLULU) – One billion dollars – that’s how much hunters and anglers contribute each year in the U.S. toward fish and wildlife conservation programs through taxes on their sport-related purchases. National Hunting and Fishing Day began in 1972 as a way for states to recognize the contributions of sportsmen and women in wildlife conservation and restoration, hunter education and to the shooting sports. For 78 years the Pittman-Robertson Act (American System of Conservation Funding) has imposed a 10.5%-11% federal excise tax on the sale of firearms, handguns, ammunition, archery equipment and accessories. That’s resulted in contributions of $9.24 billion toward wildlife restoration projects, including an allocation to the states of $808 million in 2015.

HONOLULU – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks will close the Makapu‘u Lighthouse Trail and parking lot at the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline for seven (7) weekdays, starting tomorrow, Tuesday September 15 through Wednesday, September 23. The trail will be open during the weekend of September 19 and 20, however visitors should be aware that the trail will be rough and unpaved.

(HONOLULU) – As predicted, coral reefs across Hawaii from Kure Atoll, the northernmost land feature in the Hawaiian Archipelago, to Hawaii Island are starting to feel the effects of coral bleaching. This is a result of coral sensitivity to rises in ocean temperatures as small as 1-2 degrees. Climate experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch program forecasted severe coral bleaching conditions for Hawaiian waters beginning in August and continuing through October. The warnings indicate that high ocean temperatures compounded by an El Nino event have a strong likelihood of causing mass coral bleaching across Hawaii. Last summer saw the first documented event of mass bleaching across the entire archipelago, and reefs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) experienced their third and worst reported mass bleaching event to date.

KAUAI COUNTY – The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) has partnered with the conservation non-profit Island Conservation (IC) and a group of interested stakeholders to study the introduced population of rats on Lehua Island.

LIHU‘E, KAUA‘I — The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will continue to accept public comments on the Master Plan and EIS for Ha‘ena State Park through October 8, 2015. The legal public comment period ended today, but is being extended in response to requests from the public to allow more time to review the large and complex document which sets a course for the future of the heavily-visited north shore state park.

(HILO) - Eight people were arrested early this morning at a protest camp across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center on Hawaii island. Seven women and one man were arrested for being present in the restricted area, outlined in the emergency rule passed by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by Governor Ige. All of those arrested were transported by the Hawaii County Police Department to Hilo for booking.

HONOLULU — A state boating administrative rule that is now permanent continues the ban on alcohol and drug use, and disorderly behavior, at the Kane‘ohe Sandbar, also known as Ahu O Laka.

(KAHULUI, MAUI) – The Nakula Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on the Leeward slopes of Maui’s Haleakala covers 1500 acres and spans elevations from 3600-9200 feet above sea level. The Nakula NAR was established in 2011 and is adjacent to the Kahikinui Forest Reserve. Both are components of the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP).