Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project

UPDATES

  1. Update 3-27-18 : Ongoing monitoring efforts on Lehua Island since September have turned up less than ten sightings of rats on cameras and other monitoring devices installed on the island. This is an indication of very low numbers of rats on Lehua. Targeted efforts to  eliminate these rats (traps, bait boxes, etc.) have been deployed and more will be deployed soon. Birds are continuing to do well with no signs of rat attacks on eggs, chicks, or adults on nests. Plants that were previously consumed by rats are persisting. Many of the plants continue to be flush with green leaves. Further monitoring will occur or a regular basis to determine the status of Lehua Island.
  2. Lehua Project Update Video Feature 12-25-17 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.
  3. Eradication status: The Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project completed its 3 applications of rodent baits on 9/12.
    wedge-tailed shearwater chick

    This is just one of hundreds of healthy wedge-tailed shearwater chicks that had continued to to grow on Lehua Island free from attack by rats as of November 2017.


    Post-application monitoring of Lehua Island will continue for several months to determine the success of the rat eradication effort and environmental response. Check back to this website to receive regular updates on observations and results.
  4. The first bait application of three was completed on 8/23. The second application was completed on 8/30. The third and final application was completed on 9/12.
  5. Phone Updates: The phone message has ended and will no longer be updated.
  6. Mariners: All marine activities should continue as normal. All marine resources including fish, crabs, and opihi are safe to consume. 
  7. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): These three FAQs should answer many of the questions you may have about the Lehua Restoration project. Updated Lehua FAQ, a Community Update FAQ, and the Community Meeting FAQ. 

Lehua Island is a 284-acre island located three-fourths of a mile off the northern shore of Niihau (a privately owned 46,080-acre island). Lehua is a state-designated seabird sanctuary managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and federally owned by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Lehua is one of Hawaii’s most important seabird colonies because of its size and height above sea level.  It also offers a unique opportunity for restoring an island ecosystem.

Learn more about the Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project by watching the 30-minute TV special that was locally broadcast on KFVE:

Lehua Island-Restoration of a Tropical Bird Paradise from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

 

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), in conjunction with federal sponsor United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), technical partner Island Conservation (IC), and the cooperating members of the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee (LIRSC) are working together toward the eradication of rats from Lehua Island so further restoration efforts can move forward in the future.

To learn more about the Lehua Island restoration project, you can read the Executive Summary of the project.

The State’s Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lehua restoration project became available in the Environmental Bulletin published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control on July 23, 2017. You can review this document at the link below. 

The Federal Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lehua restoration project is now available at the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office website.