Forest Health

Acacia koa flowers (640x480)


Forests in Hawaii are threatened by harmful pests such as insects, diseases, and weeds. In most cases these threats are invasive species which have been accidentally introduced into Hawaii’s environment. Released from their natural predators, they have exploded in numbers inflicting damage on native resources. Learn more about invasive species visit DOFAW’s Invasive Species webpage.

Occasionally a native species behaves like a ‘pest,’ as in the case of the on-going koa moth outbreak on the big island. This native moth occasionally causes wide-scale defoliation of koa forests. The reasons for these outbreaks is unknown. Fortunately healthy trees normally recover from outbreaks.

Learn more about forest pest issues in Hawaii and what managers are doing to protect our valuable forests in the Forest Health Highlights under “Quick Links” on the right hand side of this page.