The Hawaii Invasive Species Council approved a $2,550,000 budget for fiscal year 2014 (FY14) on July 1, 2013, to support statewide invasive species planning, prevention, control, and outreach. Twenty-seven FY14 awards were approved by the HISC based on the FY2014 Proposal Guidelines and with recommendations from the Resources Working Group. To learn more about FY14 projects, click on any of the project titles below.
Development of naio thrips (Myoporum thrips: Klambothrips myopori) early detection and rapid response plans for the islands of Kauai, Maui and Molokai
Naio thrips or Myoporum thrips (Klambothrips myopori) was first detected in Waikoloa, Hawaii in 2008 attacking the native Myoporum sandwicense, locally known as naio. Distribution of naio thrips in the State is currently restricted to the Hawaii Island, where the pest is causing extensive dieback and mortality of naio plants across a range of habitats. Given the frequency of inter-island transport of goods and people, and the precedence of pest range expansions, this species is likely to spread beyond the Hawaii Island. Naio is distributed across all of the main Hawaiian Islands, and is present from sea-level to 3000m. Both M. sandwicense and laetum are used in landscape plantings. The purpose of developing early detection and rapid response plans for naio thrips on Kauai, Maui and Molokai is to provide organization and facilitate cooperation between relevant resource management agencies and collaborators in the event that naio thrips are detected outside of Hawaii Island. The movement of this pest species will result in a significant biological and structural loss to native habitats, as well as ornamental plantings. Developing and implementing island-specific early detection and rapid response plans increases the likelihood of early detection and successful eradication of this damaging pest species. A plan recently developed for the island of Oahu will serve as a model for other islands.
Statewide harmonization of invasive ant detection and response
Invasive ants pose unique and significant issues for Hawai‘i that impact on environmental, economic and social sectors. For example, the Little Fire Ant is currently found on the Hawaiian islands: Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. The Red Imported Fire Ant (present in 13 US states) has a multi-billion dollar annual impact. It is present in every US state where climatic conditions favor development, except Hawaii. It is also an established in major international trading partners (China, Taiwan and Australia). Additional species of quarantine concern include the black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) and the Hairy Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulvus). A recent arrival (Tapinoma sessile) has been detected in Maui and threatens neighbor islands.
Detection and response activities for invasive ants in the Hawaiian archipelago are fragmented and span multiple agencies. This proposal, aims to bring all stakeholders together with the following goals:
- Outline current detection and response activities conducted by each stakeholder, identify overlap and gaps.
- Develop a multi-agency plan that addresses both detection and response activities, eliminating redundancies and finding means to address “holes” in the current framework.
- Build a response procedure that identifies lins of authority, reporting and action in the event of a new incursion.
Continued Support for the Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment Program
The Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) assists in preventing new invasive plants from entering the State and in reducing the spread of existing invasive plants. This voluntary screening system continues to provide an objective, science-based and accurate method of assessing the invasive potential of plants being imported into and/or planted within the Hawaiian Islands. Research demonstrates that preventing the introduction of invasive species is the most cost-effective option when dealing with invasive species. The HPWRA system is a successful component of state-wide prevention measures. The deliverables for this project are: 1) 100 new or revised assessments fully integrated into the hpwra.org and Plant Pono websites 2) Reports: Annual report to the legislature on HPWRA progress and accomplishments and three quarterly updates. Measures of effectiveness include: 1) Number of agencies and private sector organizations that request or utilize weed risk assessments and 2) Number of species that are assessed using the HPWRA. Continued funding for the HPWRA will fulfill prevention objectives highlighted in the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council.
Hawaii Ant Lab Core Funding (Prevention)
The Hawaii Ant Lab is a point-of-contact for conservation agencies, the HISC specifically and members of the public on any matter involving identification, prevention and control of invasive ants. The HAL is developing a regional and global reputation as a center of excellence and cutting-edge research on biosecurity, pest ant management and ant taxonomy. Over the past 41⁄2 years, HAL has creatively used HISC funds to leverage additional grants and build a strong state and regional capacity for incursion and prevention. Daily prevention services provided by the Hawai`i Ant Lab include the following:
- Conduct regular island-wide point-of-entry surveys for invasive ants
- Operate and maintain a 24/7 telephone contact service for members of the public.
- Provide a diagnostic service to members of the public and other conservation agencies.
- Develop, update and promote the www.littlefireants.com website. (In the past year, thewebsite has received approximately 500 site visits and 1250 page views per month)
- Produce “fact sheets” providing prevention advice to residents and industry.
- Provide ongoing advice, expertise and assistance to island invasive species committees as needed.
- Regular speaking engagements to associations and societies, public displays.
Ballast Water & Hull Fouling Coordinator and Japan tsunami marine debris response in Hawaii
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Ballast Water and Hull Fouling Program’s objective is to minimize the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) from ballast water discharge and biofouling on vessel hulls or other floating platforms. This program is crucial because >400 non-indigenous marine and estuarine species have invaded Hawaii and marine bioinvasions continue to occur. Vessel biofouling and ballast water have been responsible for introducing the majority of these organisms. This program ensures vessels’ comply with Hawaii’s ballast water regulations and during 2014 will be creating a draft management strategy for biofouling in consultation with affected stakeholders. The program also recently assumed responsibility for responding to reports of non-indigenous biofouling that has been arriving on suspected Japan tsunami marine debris. Response includes sampling and decontamination of debris, coordinating with scientists studying this biota and its invasiveness, and site survey (initial and some follow-up).
Surveillance of Myrtaceae Rust Strains in Hawaii
Myrtatceae rust (Puccinia psidii), also known locally as ohia rust and in other parts of the world as eucalyptus rust, was first detected in Hawai‘i in 2005 on a ohia seedling in a nursery on Oahu. The rust quickly spread throughout the state and has been found infecting over 30 hosts in the Myrtaceae family, including several native species. The primary concern with this disease has been the potential impacts to ohia, which is only minimally susceptible in forest settings thus far. However, the introduction of additional disease strains could be very damaging to ohia forests. Due to this threat, action is being taken by state and federal quarantine agencies to prevent importation of infected plant material. Strengthened quarantine rules, however, are open to challenge by anyone wanting to import restricted material. In order to justify such rules, verification that Hawaii only has one disease strain is crucial. This survey will provide important scientific data for such verification, as well as alert state resource managers if new strains are detected.
Core support for CGAPS Project/Outreach Coordinator
CGAPS is requesting funds for core payroll support for the Project/Outreach Coordinator. The goals of this position are to facilitate engagement and inter- and intra-agency communication; to coordinate collaborative projects towards the goals outlined in the CGAPS Action Plan; and to prioritize outreach messages, methods, and audiences, to educate decision makers, special interest groups, and the public about invasive species in order to effect a change in perception, actions, rules, or funding for invasive species issues. HISC contributions to the core support for the CGAPS Project/Outreach Coordinator (100% FTE, cost shared by multiple agencies, NGOs) will enable progress on the 2013/14 work plan.
Oahu Island Public Outreach and Education
HISC funds will be used to maintain the capacity of outreach projects supported by previous HISC funds and to support additional long- and short-term outreach projects for a one-year period that create and build public awareness and support for invasive species prevention, detection and control on the island of Oahu. Projects will build support among landowners in the communities where OISC works, work with schools to educate students about Hawai‘i’s natural heritage and the threats invasive species pose to it, and coordinate a volunteer program that will remove incipient invasive species from Manoa Valley. A new project will utilize community based social marketing strategies to facilitate a coordinated effort between OISC and OANRP to educate members of the Hawaii Motocross Association about Siam weed and train them to detect new populations of this species.
Public Outreach and Education in Kauai County 2014
KISC’s invasive species work involves targeting a variety of plants, animals, insects, and pathogens. Creating educational programs that are both thorough and appropriate for specific age groups is KISC’s over-arching goal. Funding from HISC enables KISC to continue to carry out these goals. New partnerships within the community are developed throughout the year, which help us to promote education and information about invasive species threats. Creating new, interesting, and innovative approaches for messaging helps to keep audiences engaged and also serves to attract new interest from those who are not familiar with these issues.
Public Outreach & Education in Maui County
Public outreach and education remain central elements of the MISC and MoMISC projects. Highly trained staff will work to educate and involve the public by focusing activities and messages on specific target species and approved HISC messages. Staff will use varied venues and media to ensure that messages are appropriate to different audiences, which will include the general public, students and teachers, policy makers, and funding agencies. Specific emphasis will be given to engaging the public in reporting possible little fire ant infestations and to expanding participation in the coqui-free certification program. Project success will be evaluated using established measures of effectiveness and during annual review of the outreach programs by Committee members.
Hawaii Island Invasive Species Education and Outreach
In FY 2014, BIISC asks for continued HISC support to provide outreach, education, training, logistical support and incentives for residents committed to I.S. control programs in their own businesses and neighborhoods. These projects will support increased awareness and citizen detection and limit the intra- and interisland spread of invasive pests. They will identify and prevent pathways for inter-island transport, provide training on the Hawaii Weed Risk Assessment, provide a cooperative structure, and engage new partners. The scale of the Big Island, the number of nursery businesses selling on and off-island, and the presence of established pests incipient to neighbor islands demands a strong outreach program and involvement from all sectors in detection and prevention.
Core Funding for the Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network: Supporting Invasive Species Outreach Efforts and Critical Web and Data Services
The Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network (HBIN) is a technical services and data management group within UH Manoa Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU) that specializes in invasive species related web applications, websites, databases and data services. This proposal concerns the provision of core funds that will allow the HBIN team to continue to provide ongoing technical service and support to partner agencies, the invasive species community, and to key HISC-funded projects. These core funds represent the critical threshold at which HBIN can provide the level of support and service expected.
Oahu Island Invasive Species Detection and Control
This project will continue eradication and early detection programs for 28 plant and four animal species. It will also support the O‘ahu Early Detection Program, a partnership with the Bishop Museum that connects invasive species management to herbarium-based research. OISC’s steering committee prioritizes its target species based on their threat to the environment and agriculture and their feasibility of control. Funds will support surveys and species removal from public and private land from the summit of the Ko`olau and Waianae Ranges to rough rugged forested residential and urban areas.
Detection and Control of Invasive Species in Maui County
Invasive species threaten Maui County’s life-giving watersheds, agricultural sustainability, extraordinary biological diversity, and quality of life. HISC funding will support ground and aerial detection and control work on 23 plant species, 3 vertebrate species, 1 invertebrate species, and 1 aquatic species, using an island-wide, landscape level approach. MoMISC will continue to serve as an early detection center for agricultural pests. The potential for project success is high. MISC and MoMISC have eradicated 12 plant species from individual islands, with another 9 species on target for eradication; kept miconia from invading Maui’s forested watersheds; reduced one invertebrate species to below-detectable levels; eradicated coqui frogs from 11 population centers; created and implemented the state’s only coqui-free certification process; and conducted effective early detection and rapid response activities across three islands. HISC funding is more critical than ever to maintain forward progress on these serious invaders. The amount requested this fiscal year is significantly greater than previous years because matching federal funds have decreased dramatically.
Eradication of Little Fire Ants on Kauai
Little Fire Ants has been present on the island of Kauai for over ten years. Intensive efforts by the Kauai Invasive Species Committee and Hawaii Department of Agriculture during this time have restricted the distribution of this species to an area of approximately 12 acres near Kalihiwai.
During 2013 fiscal year, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture provided funds for equipment and pesticides to carry out the first phase of this this project. HISC provided additional support of $14,000. HAL, in collaboration with KISC and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture has been aggressively implementing the treatment component of this project.
We seek funds to continue this project into 2014 fiscal year, search and destroy remaining nests, monitor for efficacy, and prepare a plan to treat a difficult area along the coastline.
Kauai Invasive Species Detection
KISC continues to work on goals outlined by the HISC Established Pests Working Group. Priority is given to early detection, response, and control of various plants, vertebrates, and insect targets. KISC’s top priority species include miconia, mongoose, little fire ant, and coqui frog, as well as other newly introduced plant species. Funding from HISC will help to maintain KISC’s capacity as an ongoing HISC project. Serving as Kauaʻi’s “first line of defense”, KISC works in collaboration with other partners on Kauaʻi and statewide to address priority invasive species incorporating fieldwork, outreach, and current technologies. Project deliverables will include detection and removal of high priority invasive species, an annual report, and supporting data. Measures of effectiveness will include details of number of species controlled, acres treated and surveyed, and person-hours per target expended.
Invasive Species Detection and Control on the Island of Hawaii
The Island of Hawaii has extraordinary natural resources from mauka to makai, with 98 T/E species, more than 75% of the state’s strategic conservation lands and more than half the state designated Important Agricultural Lands. Invasive species pose one of the greatest threats to the long term viability of native ecosystems, watersheds, and a thriving agricultural and horticultural trade. Following 4,000 miles of Early Detection Surveys, an updated strategic assessment, and ongoing organizational restructuring, BIISC is well positioned to tackle seven priority plant target species with the goal of islandLwide eradication. The requested funds will be leveraged by more than $240,000 in federal and private funds already anticipated and/or awarded for FY 2014, for early detection and rapid response to incipient invasive species as well as ongoing control of previously identified targets.
Hawaii Ant Lab Core Funding (Control)
The Hawaii Ant Lab is a point-of-contact for conservation agencies, the HISC specifically and members of the public on any matter involving identification and control of invasive ants. The HAL is developing a regional and global reputation as a center of excellence and cutting-edge research on biosecurity, pest ant management and ant taxonomy. Over the past 3 1⁄2 years, HAL has creatively used HISC funds to leverage additional grants and build a strong state and regional capacity for incursion and established pest management. Daily established pest services provided by the Hawaii Ant Lab include the following:
- Operates and maintains a 24/7 telephone contact service for members of the public.
- Provides a diagnostic service to members of the public and other conservation agencies.
- Develop, update and promote the www.littlefireants.com website. (In the past year, the website has received almost 4000 visits).
- Produces “fact sheets” providing practical advice to residents and industry.
- Provides ongoing advice, expertise and assistance to island invasive species committees as needed.
- Works with Hawaii County to manage Little Fire Ants in public access areas.
- Regular speaking engagements to associations and societies, public displays.
Additionally, the eradication on Maui has continued. A small incipient infestation (a single ant found during regular post-treatment survey) was detected in an area not previously treated. HAL proposes to continue monitoring during 2014 fiscal and apply regular treatments to the one remaining nest.
Big Island Invasive Deer Project
Axis deer present a huge threat to agriculture, watershed health, and human safety on the Big Island. Current estimates for axis deer are as low as 20 animals, indicating that there is a narrow window of opportunity to prevent the economic and ecological damage already suffered by neighboring islands where deer populations may no longer be eradicated. The goal of this project is to support the third of a projected seven:year campaign to eradicate axis deer from the island. The proposed approach requires use of trained and certified project and partner staff, strong commitment and support from partner agencies, businesses, and local farmers and ranchers, and an effective, targeted outreach program. Project activities will focus on continued survey and control operations, partner participation, stakeholder engagement, and targeted outreach.
Biological Control Technician
The Plant Pest Control Branch Biological Control Section is engaged in a variety of projects to control arthropods and weeds that are difficult to control through other methodologies. Funding was produced to increase staffing capacity within the biological control program this past Legislative session however, the positions were not granted. At the present time, funding is less of an issue than containment space and adequate staffing. Current staffing run all aspects of a project. This funding request is to hire a technician to assist with biological control research work.
Site Feasibility and Design Assessment for New Biological Control Containment Facilities in Hawaii
At the present time, there are three containment facilities in the state of Hawaii approved for biological control work. Two of these facilities are located on the HDOA main campus in Honolulu with one facility dedicated to arthropod work and the other to plant pathogens. A third facility, dedicated to weed biocontrol, is located at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All facilities are old and represent design philosophies in line with their age. These outmoded designs are compensated for through rigorous safety practices built into the standard operating procedures for the facilities. The design of these facilities and space limitations, impacts the kinds and number projects that can be undertaken. This proposal is aimed at determining the needs, scope and feasibility for two new facilities, one to be located on Oahu and the other to be located on Hawaii.
Targeting High-Priority Miconia Patch Populations with an Accelerated Intervention Schedule utilizing Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT)
Miconia (Miconia calvescens DC) is a HISC priority species with over a 20-year legacy of dedicated management across the state. The Invasive Species Committees have good intelligence on nascent patch populations colonizing extreme, remote locations on Kauai, Oahu and Maui where accessibility is difficult to impossible. Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT) is a new weed intervention platform with the capability to administer effective herbicide doses with long-range precision and accuracy and has demonstrated an enhancement of aerial surveillance operations with the combined actions of detection and elimination (i.e. intervention). This project will deploy accelerated intervention schedules to ten high-priority patch populations with the goal to establish a steady-state condition of each patch for sustaining long-term management with an optimized marginal cost of operation. We will utilize established GIS protocols to deliver on quantifying progress with measures in (i) operational performance efficiency and (ii) target density reduction. The budget for this project will provide for nominal investments of an HBT inventory, hardware upgrades and maintenance, software licenses, publication costs and neighbor island travel. This budget will be matched by ISC program resources in helicopter flight time and technical support. Objectives will be completed with quarterly scheduled interventions to occur within a 16-month timeline. If this strategy proves successful, a new proposal will be submitted with the potential to decelerate scheduled interventions (i.e. semi- annual) in these characterized patches and expand the area of protection with cost-optimized reconnaissance operations.
Use of the native sea urchin, Tripneustes gratilla, as a biocontrol agent against alien invasive seaweed
Kaneohe Bay is a juvenile nursing ground for many native fish and invertebrates. Fast growing alien invasive algae has smothered many reefs throughout the Bay. This phase shift from healthy coral to an algae dominated environment has severely degraded the reef and lead to a loss of ecosystem function. Two techniques (mechanical removal of invasive algae and out- planting of native urchins) are being tested as management tools to return the reef to a coral dominated environment. The goal of this project is to enhance the population of native urchins through artificial reproduction where they will be outplanted in the wild to control the regrowth of alien invasive algae. Funds requested in this proposal will cover costs for partial salaries for technical staff in the sea urchin hatchery, travel to mainland urchin facilities for research, and costs for tank repairs/replacements.
Note: Alternative funding was identified for the bulk of this proposal. The awarded amount reflects the additional funds needed to coordinate communications with mainland urchin facilities for research purposes.
Kauai Mongoose Detection
KISC continues to work on goals outlined by the HISC Established Pests Working Group. Funding from HISC will help to maintain KISC’s capacity to respond to reports of mongooses on Kauaʻi, collect and analyze data. The Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctata) has had a major impact on native species in the areas where it has been introduced and KISC feels that work on this important priority species will help better clarify possible population densities. Serving as Kauaʻi’s “first line of defense”, KISC works in collaboration with other partners on Kauai and statewide to address the issues surrounding the possible presence of mongooses on this island. KISC serves as a data clearinghouse for mongoose reports as well as work performed regarding response, detection, and trapping. Project deliverables will include aggregation of meta and spatial data collected while surveying and trapping, an annual report, and supporting data. Measures of effectiveness will include details of number of animals controlled, efficiency and efficacy of trapping procedures, collaborations with partners, and commitment from stakeholders.
Axis Deer Management: Maui Island
The Island of Maui has reached a critical threshold with the growing population of axis deer. The multi-stakeholder Maui Deer Working Group has hired a Coordinator to help carry out the ambitious goals and objectives of the comprehensive community-based Management Plan. Continued work on development and implementation of the Plan will focus on: refinement of population estimates; gathering information about movement patterns of axis deer; work with identified stakeholders in Management Focus Areas, including Watershed Partnerships and hunter cooperatives; and outreach to the broader community.
Stakeholder-led control of invasive albizia on Hawaii Island: A Demonstration Project
With support of a legislative resolution an established stakeholder coalition will remove invasive albizia trees threatening homes, infrastructure, and native forest and contribute to development of a strategic plan. The project will engage highway & power line workers, real estate developers & homeowners associations to adopt BMPs rather than the current costly and counter-productive attempts at control. The final report will assess available resources, identify barriers and describe solutions, provide clear recommendations to carry community based control efforts to new neighborhoods, draft BMPs, and include prioritized maps of hazard tree, core infestation, and satellite locations. Approximately 240 acres of the forest reserve, 100 houselots, and up to 10 km of roads will be managed. Volunteer and staff training will emphasize the Hawaiian core value of kuleana, personal responsibility and privilege, with the express expectation that trained individuals will assist and train their friends, neighbors, and `ohana to safely remove albizia elsewhere.
HISC Support and Overhead
- $255,000 for required overhead charges by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the DLNR Fiscal Office
- $152,104 for HISC Support, including two staff (a Communications Coordinator and a Planner) as well as supplies, travel, and utilities.