Natural Area Reserves

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.

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.

Today, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Coca-Cola Company and the Ko’olau Mountains Watershed Partnership announced plans for a new replenishment project designed to help restore and recharge the Waiawa watershed which supplies the majority of O’ahu’s drinking water

DLNR is issuing this statement in the Kaʿena Point albatross killings, expressing concern over the plea bargain of Christian Guiterrez, 19, the adult accused of participating in these crimes.

A new study provides the first rigorous population estimate of an enigmatic endangered bird species found only on Kauai, the Puaiohi or Small Kauai Thrush: 494 birds. Scientists have long believed that the species was very rare, but it had heretofore eluded a precise count due to its secretive demeanor and the rugged, inaccessible terrain it inhabits deep in Kauai’s Alakai Plateau.

Botanists surveying a remote area on Maui found something they didn’t expect – a species of fern previously unknown to science. Named after the mountain on which it is found, Athyrium haleakalae was recently announced and described in a paper by Kenneth Wood and Warren Wagner of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) and the Smithsonian Institution, respectively

Reintroduction efforts for the ʻAlalā, the native Hawaiian crow, began in December of last year with the release of five ʻAlalā into a Hawai‘i Island State Natural Area Reserve. Sadly, three birds did not survive, and the remaining two were brought back into captivity.