FY13 Funded Projects
In FY13, the HISC disbursed an annual budget of $1.8M to prevention, control, and outreach projects.
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 for Hawaii because of our dependence on the importation of almost all consumer goods coming by sea, popularity of boating activities, and introduced organisms have the potential to become invasive and negatively impact our environment and economy.
The Hawaii Ant Lab is housed within the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, which provides funding for industry support (agriculture and nurseries) as well as infrastructure support to the unit. This proposal is for the provision of core funds that will allow the Hawaii Ant Lab to provide prevention support to the HISC, and to the public generally. This funding maintains a “critical mass” needed to provide these prevention support services.
The Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) addresses gaps in the capacity to prevent new invasive plants from entering the State and reduce the spread of existing invasive plants. This voluntary screening system implemented by two HPWRA specialists provides 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) 200 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; 3) Public presentations and meetings promoting and explaining the HPWRA. 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.
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 field work, 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.
This project will continue eradication and early detection programs for 6 plant, 1 animal and 1 insect species and maintain capacity for rapid response to new threats that may arise throughout the year. 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 target species were prioritized by the OISC committee 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 Wai‘anae Ranges to residential and urban areas.
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. MoMISC will continue to serve as an early detection center for agricultural pests.
The Island of Hawaii has extraordinary natural resources, from mauka to makai, with over 70 threatened or endangered plants, 28 threatened or endangered animal species, and thriving agricultural and floricultural industries. Invasive species pose one of the greatest threats to the long-term viability of native ecosystems and agriculture. The requested HISC funding will support ongoing detection and control operations for targeted priority plant and animal pest species, and early detection and rapid response to new or recently discovered incipient invasive species.
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 30 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 second 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 and comprehensive outreach program. Project activities will focus on continued survey and control operations, partner participation, stakeholder engagement and outreach.
The Hawaii Ant Lab is housed within the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, which provides funding for industry support (agriculture and nurseries) as well as infrastructure support to the unit. This proposal is for the provision of core funds that will allow the Hawaii Ant Lab to provide ongoing established pest support to the HISC, and to the public generally. This funding maintains a “critical mass” needed to provide these support services.
A small infestation of 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 have restricted the distribution of this species to an area of approximately 12 acres near Kalihiwai.
Over the past 12 months, many impediments to eradicating this infestation have been removed. New products are now registered for control of arboreal colonies, residents are now anxious to rid themselves of this pest and an Experimental Use Permit for off-label use of Provaunt has been granted. HAL proposes to initiate treatment at this site during the last quarter of 2012 and seeks funds to continue this project into 2013.
Christmas berry (Schinus terebinthifolius) is an invasive plant in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world, including Florida and Hawaii, where infestations threaten natural areas, agriculture and cattle production. Biological control, one of the most effective management options for established widespread weeds, is needed as a new tool for managing Christmas berry, given the extreme expense of large scale chemical/mechanical control and the environmental sensitivity of infested areas. Work since 2005 at the Ft Lauderdale USDA/ARS/Invasive Plant Research Lab has identified a variety of potential agents, the most promising of which is a Brazilian thrips, Pseudophilothrips ichini, that demonstrates a narrow host range and causes considerable damage to the growth and reproduction of Christmas berry. Our goal is to leverage quarantine research expertise with this insect and ongoing testing in Florida to evaluate its potential for use in Hawaii. With additional funding this year, we can complete testing of Hawaiian plant species in Florida and accumulate all the host specificity data needed to evaluate suitability of this thrips for biocontrol introduction in Hawaii.
Over the coming months the USDA Forest Service is building increased capacity for biocontrol research with hire of a post-doctoral scientist who will focus on developing new agents for miconia biocontrol. In addition we plan to maintain current projects focused on a stem borer agent for miconia, a flea beetle for Tibouchina and related melastomes, and post-release monitoring of the leaf-galling scale insect on strawberry guava. Quarantine rearing of prospective agents and fieldwork for post-release assessments is currently supported by only one fulltime Forest Service technician with temporary assistance from student interns. Given the day-to-day requirements of simply operating the quarantine facility, our ability to pursue multiple concurrent projects is limited. Support of an additional fulltime technician will enable us to conclude ongoing projects more rapidly and take on additional species for quarantine testing. In the near term (beginning in 2013) additional species we can consider for miconia biocontrol include a gregariously feeding butterfly and a fruit weevil, both of which have been identified as high priority agents through research in the native range. Both of these agents are technically challenging to rear, but with extra technical support we can begin to gather the host specificity data required for ultimately determining their suitability for introduction to Hawaii.
The Island of Maui has reached a critical threshold with the growing population of axis deer. The Maui Deer Working Group has developed a comprehensive Management Plan to support control efforts in targeted areas with the initial focus on reducing damage to agricultural and ranch lands. The following actions are needed: obtain accurate information about axis deer population and distribution; identify specific Management Focus Areas for initial cooperative suppression efforts; engage the community including hunters through a series of facilitated stakeholder meetings; and educate and involve the broader public in the issue. Given the complexity of the issue, a coordinating position is needed to oversee overall plan implementation.
Koke’e is a major “port of entry” for the entire watershed of Kauai, and must buffer the onslaught of over one million visitors annually from all over the world. There is a great risk of new pest introductions by hikers, bikers and hunters (who often bring dogs and horses). KRCP is requesting funding to continue as a rapid response weed control service for the region, and expand outreach to Koke’e stakeholders. Thanks to many partnerships, especially DLNR, we have had some significant successes over the years, including eradicating Kudzu and the dreaded Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus alitissima), or “tree from hell” as land managers in the west call it. With a large, educated workforce of staff, interns and volunteers, funding is greatly leveraged to make it possible to target many existing incipient pest plants and also respond to new sightings.
The Division of Aquatic Resources Aquatic Invasive Species program is focused on the control and prevention of aquatic invaders throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Outreach is an essential aspect of controlling and preventing aquatic invasive species. Outreach events not only help educate the public on invasive species issues through identification and detection, but also provide activities for families to participate in conservation projects within their communities. The AIS program currently has a project underway to control invasive algae in Kaneohe Bay through mechanical removal (The Super Sucker) and by replenishing native herbivores (collector sea urchins, Tripneustes gratilla) onto affected reefs. Outreach efforts have focused on topics related to this project in an effort to gain public support and community involvement. Over the last few years, the AIS program, by means of support from the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC), has increased outreach and education programs and events to inform and involve local communities in invasive species issues on the Hawaiian Islands. We are seeking additional HISC funding to continue this effort and to meet our outreach goals and objectives concerning invasive species issues.
Due to other funding issues this grant was not encumbered.
Invasive species outreach and education is an integral component of on-the-ground control efforts by KISC. Engaging the community and having them become invested partners is the ultimate goal. By having a community that cares about the environment that surrounds them we can increase KISC’s capacity by increasing “eyes and ears” and the reporting of new invasive species. This funding will serve as partial salary for KISC’s outreach position, as well as support expenses associated with outreach materials, and development of education programs.
HISC measures of effectiveness and deliverables can be measured in project outputs. One of KISC’s priority’s in FY2013 is increasing awareness in regard to the threats that mongoose pose to Kauaʻi’s unique and diverse ecosystem following a recent live capture on Kauaʻi. KISC will also be tracking educational materials produced, target audience numbers reached, and participation in educational programs.
Projects will build support among landowners in the communities where OISC works, work with schools to educate students about Hawaii’s natural heritage and the threats invasive species pose to it, coordinate a volunteer program that will remove incipient invasive species from Mānoa Valley and encourage the use of a new mobile phone coqui
frog reporting app. Outreach to tree trimmers, who may be among the first to encounter little fire ant, is also planned.
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. Project success will be evaluated using established measures of effectiveness and during annual review of the outreach programs by Committee members.
This project will support efforts to increase public awareness and encourage citizen detection in order to limit the spread of invasive pests within the Big Island. Activities during FY2013 will focus on engaging the community during public events, expansion of existing outreach campaigns including responsible pet ownership, and development of new messages, exhibits, materials, and media, including videos produced by local youth.
This project involves the enhancement of public outreach related sites and applications within the Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network infrastructure. Several targeted web products will be modified and expanded to facilitate 1) a more comprehensive and integrated online pest reporting system; 2) more frequent and effective interagency communication related to pest detections or interceptions; 3) improved dissemination and sharing of pest report / pest interception data; and 4) continued curation, update and maintenance of several web products (Hawaii Early Detection Network web content, Hawaii Early Detection Network Pest Reporting System, Plant Pono, and Little Fire Ant).
This project will provide consistent, stable support for key invasive species outreach efforts in the state. The two positions for which funding is requested will, together, continue to update the HISP partners’ websites (HISC, CGAPS, ISCs), continue sup- port of e-mail lists critical for statewide communication, maintain the Hawaiian Eco- systems at Risk (HEAR) project website (www.hear.org), and continue to provide other HEAR services (consulting, technical support, public speaking).
Project partners will conduct three workshops to increase invasive species awareness and action among the agricultural community. The workshops will target farmers and professionals working with farmers, as these populations have a tremendous influence on Hawaii.
This project did not proceed.
HISC Support & Overhead
- DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife: DOFAW Overhead (3% of $1.8M): $54,000
- DLNR Central Services Fee (7% of $1.8M): $26,000
- HISC Staff: Coordinator and Communications Coordinator: $146,470