2023 Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Awareness Month

February is Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month

The theme for HISAM 23 is “Mythbusters” – addressing misconceptions about invasive species that are often misunderstood. Throughout the month, there will be a variety of in-person volunteer activities, webinars on various topics, awards presented to businesses and individuals who make a difference in addressing invasive species in Hawaiʻi, and much more. Missed a talk? Subscribe to the HISC Youtube channel and check out the HISAM 23 playlist to watch any presentations you may have missed live.


Recognizing people and organizations from across the state for their efforts to protect Hawaiʻi from invasive species. Click on the links below to see the award videos for each awardee and learn about their significant contributions to invasive species management.


Monday, February 6th 6:00 pm – MYTHBUSTERS: Invasive Species Edition! “Nature will balance itself out.” “That can’t be invasive, it produces food!” “No one is doing anything about this weed!” Have you heard these statements in relation to invasive species? Well, we have too, and more! Tune in to learn about the myths and realities of invasive species work as our panel of invasive species experts share their perspective and some useful resources. Help us kick off 2023 Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month by setting the record straight and busting some myths about invasive species! Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Monday, Feb 13th 11:00 am – 12:00 pmWolbaci-what? Introducing [more] Invasive Species? Busting the myths of mosquito control, birds and avian malariaGot questions about the need to import millions of mosquitoes? Or worried about the rumor that we are introducing new life forms?  Join Luka Zavas and Allison Cabrera as they set the record straight about the tools being considered to suppress mosquitoes and save our endangered honeycreepers. Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Tuesday, February 14th 11:00 am – Talk Story with Animal Industry!” Were the phrases “wet market” or “spillover event” on your radar before 2020? For many, the Covid-19 pandemic opened our eyes to the potential devastating effects of zoonotic diseases. Who’s keeping our pets, cattle, environments and communities safe from potential epidemics, and who makes sure producers are following regulations to ensure a safe food supply? Join us to hear from the front lines of animal industry as Dr. Raquel Wong, Veterinary Medical Officer and Dr. Kim Kozuma, Deputy State Veterinarian for the Hawai’i State Department of Agriculture share their adventures protecting Hawai’i in the world of animal industry. Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Wednesday, February 15th 11:00 am – Wildfire Myths Elizabeth Pickett from the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization will talk about wildfire myths in Hawaii for HISAM 2023.  Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Thursday, February 16th 6:00 pm – Invasive Plant Sales in the islands: What You Learn Will Shock You! Hear from some of Hawaii’s Botanists and Invasive Species Specialists on the growing market of plant purchasing and the threat that you could be unknowingly bringing to the islands. Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Friday, February 17th 12:00 pm – “Let’s talk about the mongoose”- Modern Biocontrol and Why We Need It This webinar features a panel of land managers and researchers discussing why we need to stop thinking of biocontrol as the mongoose and start thinking of it as an essential tool. Christy Martin from the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species will moderate the panel.  Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Tuesday, February 21st 10:00 am – 10th year of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle- How did we get here and where do we go? Find out how Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle is spreading and the work that is being done. Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Thursday, February 23rd 10:00 am – “Kilo limu” Communications between communities and managers Join Limu Legend Wally Ito as he discusses his work to revitalize communities and agencies in the knowledge and practice of limu. Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Thursday, February 23rd 4:00 pm – “Protecting Hawaii’s forests for watershed, wildlife, culture, and ʻōhiʻa” Forester J.B Friday will lead a panel of experts including Cali Crampton, Steve Hess, Ryan Perroy, Tom Giambelluca, and Nicolai Barca, to dissect misconceptions about our watersheds. Have pigs have always been in the forest? Are all trees the same in the forest function? Can our forest birds adapt? Missed this talk? Check out the recording HERE.

Tuesday, February 28th 6:00 pm – “What the %#@! Is this Plant? Plant ID Tips, Tricks & Myths” Molly Murphy (BIISC), Kevin Faccenda (UH Botany) and Chuck Chimera (HISC) will discuss plant ID resources and tips. Check out the recording HERE.


Every Wednesday from 8:30 to 10:30 am; Maui Nui Botanical Garden Weed and Pot club, Maui –Spend your morning helping the Gardens thrive through weeding and propagation. Come prepared to work with covered shoes and gardening attire. Rain or Shine. More details.

February 2nd from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm; Kokeʻe “Pop-Up” Outside Kokeʻe Museum Kauai Talk story with Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee & Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project about ways to help protect the native forests!

February 4th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana work day – Kauai Restore loʻi at Keʻe. Please email [email protected] to let us know if you would like to attend, how many in your group, and what time you will arrive. More info

February 9th and 25th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Kaha Native Plant Garden Volunteer Day – Oahu Volunteers at Kaha Garden will assist with maintenance of the garden and are taught to identify the native plants, learn their growing patterns, how to properly propagate, and where to plant. RSVP to [email protected] or 277-5611 for event location and details. More info

February 11th from 7:30 am – 11:30 am; ReForest Makauwahi Cave Reserve Kauai Help us reestablish the native coastal forest on Kauai’s South Shore at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve. We’re focusing on invasive plant removal from Reserve wetlands and at least one island. Learn more about wetlands, native birds and endemic vs invasive plants during a “Walk ‘n Talk” with local experts. For World Wetlands Day, come prepared to get dirty, have fun, and do good! February is also Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month – let’s nail some of the worst offenders! Email [email protected] for registration, details on what to bring, and meeting point.

February 11th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Wiliwili Festival Hawaii Island – Check out the Using Native & Non-Invasive Plants Workshop. For more information: https://waikoloadryforest.salsalabs.org/NativePlantWorkshops/index.html

February 16th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; Habitat Restoration at Iliau Loop Trail – Assist Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee & Koke’e Resource Conservation Program in the removal of with invasive grass. Sign up required

February 16th & 17th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Malama Maunalua Invasive Species Huki Honolulu, HI – Help remove invasive species from near-shore reefs. Email [email protected] to sign up.

February 18 from 10:00 am -1:00 PM; Kīpahulu Ohana Volunteer Day- Maui- Your kōkua greatly supports our mission of reviving, restoring, and sharing the practices of traditional Native Hawaiian culture.  Follow Kipahulu Ohana on Facebook for more details. https://kipahulu.org/

February 23rd 5:00 pm; Learn about Plant Pono & the Weed Risk Assessment Hawaii Island – Learn from Botanist Chuck Chimera at this in-person presentation at Honokaa Public Library. All are welcome to attend. No registration required.

Fridays 8:00 am to 12:00 pm (No work day Friday Feb 17), Saturday, Feb 18 8:00 to 11:00 am; Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes & Wetland Refuge- Maui – Volunteer to remove invasive species and assist in restoration with the Hawaiʻi Islands Land Trust. Volunteer Waiver Required. More info and volunteer waiver.

Monthly Kahoʻolawe Volunteer Access Trips KahoʻolaweSign up with the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission to join a volunteer access trip.

Don’t miss out on the fun and informative events happening during HISAM 23. Follow the #HISAM23 tag on Instagram and Facebook for live updates and additional activities. And be sure to subscribe to the HISC Youtube channel and check out the HISAM 23 playlist to watch any presentations you may have missed live.

Don’t let misconceptions about invasive species in Hawaiʻi go unchallenged. Join us this February for HISAM 23 and be a part of the solution.