Invasive Species

(HONOLULU) – The illegal burning of Christmas trees at Ahu O Laka (Kāne'ohe Bay sandbar) is not only a violation of State of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR), this year, it was exacerbated by non-compliance with COVID-19 mandates. Photos on social media sites show large numbers of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder without masks, as tree-fueled fires burn in the background. 

(Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i) – Surveys and investigations by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) staff suggest that recent instances of deer dying on Moloka‘i are due to severe drought conditions. DOFAW began receiving reports earlier this month of deer being found both on roadways and on private lands in West Moloka‘i.  

(Honolulu) - The COVID-19 pandemic is providing the opportunity for ‘ōhi‘a lovers across Hawai‘i to participate in the annual ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest, which previously has been held as an in-person event in Hilo. Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Hawai‘i’s most abundant tree, ‘ōhi‘a lehua, during this week-long virtual event.  

(Līhu‘e) - The most recent helicopter surveys conducted by the Kauaʻi Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Rapid Response Team resulted in detections of the virulent fungal pathogen known as Ceratocystis lukuohia in two new areas on Kauaʻi, the upper Hanalei valley and along the north side of Powerline Trail. 

  (Honolulu) – As more and more restrictions on outdoor activities are being lifted, many people are returning to Hawai‘i’s forests to hike, hunt, and to participate in other recreational activities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, additional infections of the fungal disease known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death have occurred.

(Honolulu) – Out of an abundance of caution and to facilitate social distancing recommendations, DLNR and its divisions are announcing the following closures to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time of major inconvenience. We intend to reopen parks and facilities as soon as the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat. These steps are being taken to protect all visitors and constituents, as well as our staff, while maintaining a high level of service.”

(Līhu‘e) - The Kaua‘i Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death Working Group announced today two new detection sites where the fungal disease has killed ‘ōhi‘a, the most prevalent tree in Hawai‘i’s native forests and a tree critical for the preservation of Hawai‘i’s watersheds.

(Honolulu) – Despite O‘ahu having the state’s highest population, the island has largely been spared from a wide-spread outbreak of the fungal disease known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻaDeath.  With the detection last week of a single tree with the less virulent strain of the fungus, C. huliohia, only five ōhiʻa trees on O‘ahu have been identified as having the disease.

(Honolulu) – The 2020-2024 update to the original strategic response plan for the fight against Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death notes many challenges ahead. Released today, the plan calls for additional funding of $4 million, each year, over the next five years to continue progress toward understanding and addressing the fungal disease that has seriously impacted Hawai‘i’s native forests.

Lihu‘e – The killing of an endangered Hawaiian Petrel chick involved in a tracking project highlights the continued threat of feral cats to native wildlife on Kaua῾i. The chick had been satellite tagged with two others as part of a research project by the Kaua῾i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP) to locate the petrel’s first oceanic wintering grounds.  When the tag continued to transmit from land over several weeks, researchers returned to the bird’s forest burrow in late November to find it had been killed by a cat. The kill was caught on a camera that was hidden to monitor the burrow.

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