Kokee Rare Plant Facility – FY 2008 Report

Objectives

To increase the probability of the rarest Kauai plant species survival by expanding the number of species currently being propagated for outplanting at the Kokee Rare Plant Facility. This will increase the genetic diversity of these outplanted species as they are introduced into protected areas within their historic range. Plant materials may be distributed to cooperator nurseries for scientific study/outplanting and to maintain representative gene pools of selected species.

Performance

This project included the propagation and outplanting of 26 listed endangered species and 3 rare Kauai taxa. A total of 307 rare plant species were outplanted. Propagation and hardening of these Hawaiian plant species for outplanting was accomplished at the Kokee Rare Plant facility. These listed species included:

Caesalpinia kavaiensis (7), Capparis sandwichiana (1), Chamaesyce halemanui (4), Charpentiera densiflora (2), Delissea rhytidosperma (1), Dubautia latifolia (18), Gardenia brighamii (1), Hibiscadelphus distans (5), Hibiscus brackenridgei (3), Hibiscus clayi (25), Kadua haupuensis (31), Kokia kauaiensis (1), Lipochaeta micrantha (16), Myrsine knudsenii (3), Myrsine linearifolia (3), Panicum niihauense (1), Peucedanum sandwicense (11), Phyllostegia renovans (11), Pritchardia hardyi (6), Pritchardia viscosa (3), Psychotria hobdyi (8), Ranunculus mauiensis (46), Rauvolfia sandwicensis (2), Sesbania tomentosa (70), Solanum sandwicense (6), Stenogyne kealiae (1), Viola chamissoniana (2), Wilkesia hobdyi (17), and Xylosma crenatum (2).

Propagation of 17 non-listed native Hawaiian plant species resulted in 314 plants being planted into protected areas. Total number of outplanted species was 621 individuals.

A horticulturalist was hired during this reporting period for the propagation and outplanting efforts and was supplemented with the assistance of the division’s nurseryman and their field crew.

Additional Information

  • Nounou Mountain exclosure was outplanted with Pritchardia hardyi and Hibiscus clayi.
  • Wailua Experiment Station exclosure was outplanted with Pritchardia hardyi, Charpentiera densiflora, Hibiscus clayi, Rauvolfia sandwicense, Delissea rhytidosperma, Solanum sandwicense, Hibiscadelphus distans, Kokia kauaiensis, and Kadua haupuensis.
  • Kahelunui Valley exclosure was planted with Caesalpinia kavaiensis.
  • Kalalau Rim exclosure received the most outplanted species that included 11 listed species: Ranunculus mauiensis, Xylosma crenatum, Peucedanum sandwicense, Phyllostegia renovans, Psychotria hobdyi, Dubautia latifolia, Chamaesyce halemanui, Myrisine linearifolia, Lipochaeta micrantha, Solanum sandwicense, and Stenogyne kealiae.
  • KaulaulaValley exclosure was maintained and outplanted with Wilkesia hobdyi.
  • Sesbania tomentosa outplanted at Kawaiele Sanctuary.
  • The out of season timing of winter rains curtailed the vigor of our native flora resource productivity. Viable propagative plant material numbers were below normal production therefore, seeds/seedlings from National Tropical Botanical Garden helped in the establishment of native species at the outplanting site at Kalalau Rim.
  • During this fiscal year the state helicopter contract was up for renewal; the only helicopter service on the island of Kauai was not eligible for renewal; access to remote areas was only possible when a chopper from another island was present, limiting access to remote populations for collecting seeds of some of the rarest Kauai species and also in maintaining their exclosures.
  • The hiring of the horticulturist has provided DOFAW Kauai Branch with much needed expertise and commitment towards Hawaiian plant survival.