Forestry & Wildlife

With 75,000 acres of Hawai‘i island ʻōhiʻa forest now showing symptoms of the fungal disease known as Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death, federal and state agencies and non-profit partners are using an array of high technology to detect its spread. “The battle against the two types of Ceratocystis fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death has always been a hugely collaborative effort,” said Rob Hauff, State Protection Forester for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “Now,” Hauff explained, “the collaboration between the agencies and organizations engaged in the fight against this devastating disease not only continues, but is expanding, particularly on the detection front.” Early detection is considered critical in helping to identify Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death’s spread on the Big Island and to other islands and to provide data and scientific information to aide researchers working hard to find a way to stop it.

During a ceremony here today, Noah Gomes was honored with the second DLNR Citizen Conservationist award. Gomes, a Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park ranger is known here as someone who perpetuates Hawaiian culture in his interactions with visitors and always demonstrates the spirit of Aloha.

A north shore wildfire burning uphill today toward the state Mokule‘ia Forest Reserve and Pahole Natural Area Reserve may put significant natural resources and endangered species at risk. A crew of 14 DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) firefighters with two water tank trucks and helicopter dip tanks has responded to a fire in the Mokule‘ia area, located east of the Mokuleia Forest Reserve access road and west of Kaala road. The Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department personnel are is on scene with two helicopters doing water drops. DOFAW has contracted two type 3 helicopters and a type 1 helicopter for water drops.

For more than 100 years there has been no known Hawaiian name for the endangered forest bird now commonly called the Hawaiʻi Creeper (Loxops mana). But Noah Gomes, a recent graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a masters degree in Hawaiian language and literature, recently put forth convincing evidence that he had rediscovered the true Hawaiian name for this species. Today, Hawaiian researchers, wildlife managers and elected representatives joined in a naming ceremony to honor this distinctive bird, in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) where the ‘Alawī resides.

An analysis of long-term radar studies on Kaua‘i has revealed massive declines in populations of the island’s two endangered seabirds, the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP) announced today. The study, due to be published online in the scientific journal Condor on June 5th, shows that between 1993 and 2013 populations of the ‘A‘o (Newell’s Shearwater) declined by 94% and Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) by 78%.

Oʻahu landowners are invited to attend a Landowner Acquisition and Easement workshop on Saturday June 3, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Palehua Ranch in Honouliuli.

State and county wildfire fighting crews today continued to work to establish a control perimeter around a fire that is burning between the 800 to 1,500-foot elevation at the western edge of Waimea Canyon, amid grassland and haole koa shrubs.

The most recent aerial surveys of ohia forests on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Moloka‘i,and Lāna‘i paint a good-news, bad-news picture. The good news is there are no confirmed cases of this fast-spreading fungal infection in ʻōhiʻa forests on any island other than the Big Island. The bad news is, the area of mortality thought to be caused by ROD has increased 50% on Hawai‘i island compared to DLNR’s previous survey in 2016.

Seventeen people were arrested at the Kalalau Section of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, during a pair of law enforcement sweeps earlier this week. Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) arrested people without valid permits for being in a closed area. They believe among the 17, were three people who’d been illegally residing in Kalalau Valley for long periods of time.

(Kahului, Mau‘i) - On one side of the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail, hikers look deep into the Waihe‘e Gorge. On the other, they look across Makamakaole Gulch and out into the shimmering Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, yet another view is across the entire central plain of Maui all the way to the top of Haleakala. This challenging, but scenic trail is considered the most popular path on Mau‘i in the State’s Nā Ala Hele Trail and Access Program.

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