FY20 Funded Projects

The HISC annually requests proposals from government agencies within the State of Hawaii, including the University of Hawaii system, and county and federal partners, for projects that address interagency invasive species issues. HISC-funded projects complement existing programs within state agencies and are those that:

  1. Fill gaps between agency mandates or existing agency programs, and/or
  2. Advance our collective knowledge through research and development of new tools.


The legislature appropriated $5,750,000 to the HISC for FY20. Of this total, 10% ($575,000) was restricted by the Department of Budget and Finance, and 5.7% ($327,750) was provided as overhead to the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife as the administrative host of the HISC. The HISC Support Program budget (including temporary staff positions, supplies, web application development for an online pest reporting system, and other programmatic costs) totaled $437,412.

For the remaining grant funds totaling $3,639,387; HISC received 50 applications totaling $8,476,285. The Resources Working Group evaluated each proposal based on its applicability to the newly released Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan (HIBP), the HISC Strategic Plan, and priorities of the Regional Biosecurity Plan for Micronesia and Hawaii.

On August 30, 2019, the HISC approved the recommended budget from the Resources Working Group detailing funds for thirty-six (36) projects addressing interagency prevention, control, outreach, and research needs. Details for individual projects are below:


[spoiler title=”1. Hawaii Ant Lab/HAL Core Program” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $257,895

Abstract: This proposal is for the provision of core funds that will allow the Hawai`i Ant Lab to provide ongoing support to the Hawai’i Invasive Species Council and to the general public. This funding maintains a “critical mass” needed to provide these support services. These funds provide approximately 40% of core costs. In past years, HDOA has provided a similar level of funding and the remaining 20% acquired from other sources.

UH PCSU HAL Core FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”2. Big Island Invasive Species Committee/BIISC Detection & Control” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $442,548

Abstract: The Big Island Invasive Species Committee plays a key role in Hawaii’s Interagency Biosecurity Plan, ensuring there is effective early detection and response capacity on the island of Hawaii. The state has prioritized EDRR programs as the most cost effective way to address invasive species that have slipped through Hawaii’s Biosecurity System and become established. Effective EDRR programs use science to rank priorities and select strategies, collect data to track progress, partner with industry to reduce imports, work closely with the community, and have a demonstrable positive impact. In 2020 BIISC seeks funds to support early detection surveys, eradicate 9 target species, assist with research, host the Plant Pono Nursery Endorsement, and develop new technology to improve efficiency.

UH PCSU BIISC Detection & Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”3. Big Island Invasive Species Committee/BIISC Rapid Ohia Death/ROD EDRR” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $73,356

Abstract: The arrival of Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death (ROD), a lethal and rapidly spreading disease caused by two invasive fungal pathogens (Ceratocystis lukuohia and C. huliohia), threatens the survival of Hawaii’s native forests, watersheds, and unique biodiversity. The Big Island Invasive Species Committee’s ROD Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Team is tasked with addressing this threat by conducting quarterly aerial surveys, finding new outbreaks, and attempting to contain the spread of the disease. More recently, BIISC has taken on a support role to ensure critical research objectives, to better understand and ultimately defeat this disease, are achieved. Requested HISC funds will support achievement of 2020 objectives to map, contain, and research new approaches to this disease.

UH PCSU BIISC ROD EDRR FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”4. Kauai Invasive Species Committee/KISC Early Detection & Rapid Response Program” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit,/PCSU $533,347

Abstract: Kauai has the largest array of endemic species in the Hawaiian archipelago and thereby holds the greatest risk of losing biodiversity. Despite its isolation, the continued introduction and spread of invasive organisms harms Kauai’s economy, water supply, native bio-diversity, health, and the lifestyle and culture unique to this island. To deter risks, KISC functions as an island-wide rapid response team that helps coordinate and fill gaps in the multi-agency effort to prevent the establishment of new pests. KISC has created a highly effective early detection program that is continuously monitoring Kauai for invasion threats that have evaded port detection. KISC’s 16-year track record includes eliminating functioning populations of fireweed, coqui frog and little fire ant.

UH PCSU KISC EDRR FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”5. Maui Invasive Species Committee/MISC Detection & Control” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $657,253

Abstract: Island wide early detection and rapid response actions across Maui and Molokai will target 30+ plant species, 3 vertebrate species, 5 invertebrate pests or pathogens, and 1 aquatic species. MoMISC will serve as an early detection center for agricultural pests. Control of little fire ants on Maui will be a high priority. Funds will help retain essential staff capacity (~10 FTE); provide helicopter time for early detection surveys on Molokai and aerial missions for miconia and pampas grass; and support detection and control of coqui frogs on both islands. The proposed work will implement key goals, strategies and priorities of the HISC and Interagency Biosecurity Plan.

UH PCSU MISC Detection & Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”6. Maui Invasive Species Committee/MISC Coqui Frog Control & Monitoring” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $83,000

Abstract: Maui is at a crossroads: either coqui frogs can be contained at Maliko Gulch for eventual removal, or the frogs will continue spreading into outlying communities and elsewhere on the island, with control eventually becoming impossible. MISC has started a community empowerment program to assist with detection and control. The program puts tools in the hands of affected residents and utilizes a community-based social marketing approach to increase participation. This proposal seeks support for staff time, equipment and supplies to assist affected residents and to monitor progress. The proposed work is highly cost effective, with a $2.5M anticipated match from the County of Maui.

UH PCSU MISC Coqui Control & Monitoring FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”7. Maui Invasive Species Committee/MISC Little Fire Ant/LFA Control Program” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $61,200

Abstract: The purpose of this project is to conduct little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) detection and control operations on Maui, particularly at the Nahiku infestation. This infestation covers more than 100 acres of thick vegetation and is riddled with drainages. Control efforts have focused on places where people may move the ants or be affected by them and avoided waterways due to pesticide labeling restrictions. Now, control of the entire infestation has commenced. Recently, a pesticide for control in or near waterways received a special local needs label. The product (Altosid) is also approved for aerial application, which addresses terrain challenges. This is a proposal in conjunction with the Hawaii Ant Lab. The project offers a cost effective approach with more than a 1:1 match.

UH PCSU MISC LFA Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”8. Oahu Invasive Species Committee/OISC Early Detection & Control” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $567,442

Abstract: OISC proposes to continue its successful program of island-wide early detection, control and eradication of priority invasive species. OISC’s strategy protects vast tracts of conservation areas with relatively little effort per acre. The OISC steering committee has prioritized for action 6 invasive plants and the 2 fungal pathogens that cause Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) due to the harm these species will cause to the island’s agriculture and watersheds. OISC will conduct early detection for ROD using aerial surveys and reports from the public. Invasive plant surveys will be conducted in order to keep ahead of the invasion front. OISC will work with partners to conduct host-specificity studies on a biocontrol for devil weed that has been tested and released in several other countries.

UH PCSU OISC EDRR FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[spoiler title=”9. Oahu Invasive Species Committee/OISC Pest Response” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $108,317

Abstract:  OISC’s Pest Response Program responds to high-priority pests on Oʻahu. This proposal requests funds to suppress naio thrips in landscaping, thereby protecting the island’s wild naio; assist the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab (HAL) with surveys and treatment for little fire ant (LFA); and assist the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) with monitoring and treatment for coqui frogs. Naio is a plant species unique to Hawaiʻi and one of the most numerous plants in the state’s coastal ecosystems. Naio thrips killed entire naio forests on Hawaiʻi Island in just ten years. LFA has been detected at three locations on Oʻahu and this proposal would fund additional monitoring for this pest. In order to prevent coqui frogs from establishing, OISC assists HDOA to respond to reports and subsequent control.

UH PCSU OISC Pest Response FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”10. Landscape Scale Mosquito Control Coordination” icon=”chevron”] DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife/DOFAW, $24,274

Abstract: Conventional mosquito control methods cannot permanently suppress or eradicate mosquitoes in Hawaii, but new technological approaches offer feasible solutions to this previously intractable problem. One such approach is Incompatible Insect Technique (IIT). DLNR and partners at USFWS, ABC, CGAPS, and HDOH have jointly spearheaded a Steering Committee for Landscape Scale Mosquito Control, and are developing a roadmap for advancing the application of this technology in Hawaii for the benefit of forest birds as well as human health. Requested funds would support personnel costs associated with project coordination, including identifying key project tasks, benchmarks, and timelines; facilitating regular meetings of Steering Committee and tracking action items; collaborating with regulatory agencies.

DLNR DOFAW Mosquito Control Coordination FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”11. Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership/KMWP Incipient Albizia Control in Priority Watersheds” icon=”chevron”] UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $19,000

Abstract: Falcataria moluccana (albizia) is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world and has been shown to have lasting negative impacts on forest and watershed health in Hawaii. In FY19, KMWP received funding from HISC to begin targeted albizia control in the Upper Waiawa watershed. KMWP proposes to continue control efforts with the goal of treating the remaining albizia and achieving regional eradication from this priority 1 watershed. The Waiawa watershed is the primary feed into the Pearl Harbor Aquifer which in turn produces over 11 million gallons of water/ day and provides fresh water to the majority of Oahu for drinking, agriculture, and municipal use.

UH CTAHR KMWP Albizia Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”12. Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance/MKWA Waipahoehoe Management Unit Feral Ungulate Control” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $72,822

Abstract: This Project removes all feral ungulates (cattle, sheep, pigs) from the Waipahoehoe Management Unit, an 1,100-acre fenced management unit on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Mauna Kea. The Project offers several unique opportunities due to its unique geography and circumstances including Rapid Ohia Death research, demonstrates successful management on the most pristine forested areas on Hawaiian Homes, and protects native bird habitat (endangered and threatened). From January 2018 through March 2019 we have removed 337 head of feral cattle, a recent aerial survey in March 2019 estimates 450 head left in the unit. Thus we are requesting funding support to protect native forests in the management unit and lead an aggressive campaign to remove all feral ungulates by the end of 2020.

UH PCSU MKWA Waipahoehoe MU Feral Ungulate Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”13. Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership/KMWP Tibouchina herbacea Control in Priority Watersheds” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $30,000

Abstract: Since 2016, KMWP has partnered with OISC and DOFAW to conduct control, monitoring and delimiting surveys for cane ti (Tibouchina herbacea) in the Poamoho Natural Area Reserve and adjacent Kamehameha Schools lands. However as of the end of FY19, KMWP will be taking the sole lead in the efforts to control this species area. The reason for this shift is mainly due to access. As it stands KMWP is the only holder of a ROE and therefore can freely access the project site where as DOFAW and OISC personnel cannot access KS lands without a KMWP escort present. We propose to continue the control and suppression of cane ti along 13000 meters of Paukauila stream near the Koʻolau summit at the intersection of the Helemano, Poamoho and Punaluʻu watersheds.

UH PCSU KMWP Tibouchina Control FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)



[spoiler title=”14. Big Island Invasive Species Committee/BIISC Public Engagement” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $190,970

Abstract: Success in public engagement is achieved when members of our community change behavior in a way that measurably advances the fight against invasive species. Now in its 20th year, BIISC continues to increase the effectiveness and positive impact of our programs. BIISC efforts have increased direct community participation in albizia & LFA control, and have raised demand for improved biosecurity among residents and decision makers. Training teachers in Rat Lungworm Disease led to the first detection of semi-slugs in Kohala. The Plant Pono Endorsement has stopped imports of a suite of invasive plants, and enlisted nursery owners as key partners. With HISC support, BIISC will continue to build strong, trusting relationships to do great work on the Big Island.

UH PCSU BIISC Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”15. Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species/CGAPS Project/Outreach” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $50,000

Abstract: CGAPS requests funds for partial payroll and operating costs for the Project/Outreach Coordinator (cost-shared by multiple agencies), and support for ongoing work on the Plant Pono website and on other collaborative sites such as www.StopTheAnt.org. Funds would also support the annual Stop the Ant campaign, which will again feature radio PSAs in each county and direct outreach in collaboration with outreach specialists and HAL. In addition, this year we propose a direct mail pilot project to affected communities on EDRR islands, and also to contract the services of Club Sullivan TV to produce a 5-minute video to engage new audiences to aid in EDRR. Funds would also support communications projects on biocontrol and priority initiatives from the 2025 strategic planning process and HIBP.

UH PCSU CGAPS Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”16. Kauai Invasive Species Committee/KISC Outreach” icon=”chevron”] UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $113,285

Abstract: Invasive species outreach and education is an integral component of on-the-ground control efforts by KISC. Active community support and invested partners increase KISC’s capacity by increasing detection and reporting of new invasive pests. The requested funding will provide salary for KISC’s outreach staff and support for associated outreach materials and education programs. HISC deliverables can be measured in project outputs. FY20 priorities include statewide and local outreach regarding inter-island biosecurity, priority pest species, decontamination protocols, and horticultural and agricultural best management practices. KISC will track educational materials produced, audience numbers reached, and educational program participation.

UH PCSU KISC Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”17. Maui Invasive Species Committee/MISC Outreach & Education” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $132,640

Abstract: Successful invasive species programs require effective outreach. HISC funding will support 2.5 FTE and supplies and services on Molokai and Maui. Trained staff will engage students, teachers, policy makers, agencies, landscape professionals, tour guides, affected community members and the general public on invasive species issues. Approaches will utilize community-based social marketing and take advantage of print and broadcast media, presentations, community meetings, displays, and online websites and social media. Messaging will highlight rapid ohia death, biocontrol, and the statewide biosecurity plan as well as target species. Staff will use the Hoike curriculum in classrooms and workshops; collaborate on internship programs; and work closely with teachers and student volunteers.

UH PCSU MISC Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[spoiler title=”18. Oahu Invasive Species Committee/OISC Outreach” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $107,279

Abstract: Outreach is key to successful fieldwork. A supportive community helps identify and control priority invasive species. In 2019, OISC will work with the statewide outreach working groups for Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, little fire ant and HISC to collect and synthesize information and disseminate it to Oʻahu residents. OISC will also work locally with affected communities to help them identify and control devil weed, little fire ant and naio thrips. OISC will also provide our invasive plants and watershed health curriculum to science teachers, post information about invasive species to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo accounts and acquire access for the OISC field crew to survey and control invasive species on private property.

UH PCSU OISC Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”19. Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership/KMWP Increasing Awareness and Community Support for Albizia Related Projects on Oahu” icon=”chevron”] UH, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $23,000

Abstract: Albizia is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world and has come to dominate significant portions of Oʻahu’s urban/forest interfaces, riparian zones, agricultural land, critical infrastructure corridors and low-elevation forests. This fast growing tree poses a major safety risk and annually cost utility companies millions of dollars in repairs. as branches frequently damage electrical lines and block roadways. In addition to the impacts to lower elevations, albizia trees are establishing in priority watersheds. This proposal focuses on increasing public awareness of albizia issues on Oahu by producing outreach materials for dispersal and education, engaging with school groups, informing and empowering the community to treat albizia on their own properties, and educating civic leaders.

UH PCSU KMWP Albizia Outreach FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”20. DLNR DOFAW Outreach ‘Cats Are Heroes’ PR Campaign” icon=”chevron”] DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife/DOFAW $10,000

Abstract: Domestic cats are an important companion animal for many people. Cats are also predatory animals that prey on birds and mammals. They can also transmit diseases to other cats, wildlife, and humans. Cats that stay indoors, contained in a space that prevents their escape, or cats that allowed outside only on leashed walks are significantly less likely to kill wildlife and transmit diseases. Therefore cats that stay contained save lives. With this project, we would hire a public relations firm to help us create a campaign that celebrates the life-saving heroism of cats that enjoy the great indoors. We would work with partners and stakeholders and the PR firm to come up with a campaign that includes branding, social media, and educational materials to encourage keeping cats contained.

DLNR DOFAW Cat PR Campaign FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)



[spoiler title=”21. Hawaii Alien Plant Informatics Project, Year 3″ icon=”chevron”] UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit/PCSU, $30,000

Abstract: Invasive plant managers in Hawaii strive toward a future where new pest arrivals are quickly identified and removed, small populations are eradicated, and the spread of non-eradicable populations throughout the archipelago is halted. Currently, the greatest challenge hindering management is the incredible complexity of alien plants in Hawaii. Thousands of species are known to be unevenly distributed throughout the islands, representing multiple introduction events and unique invasive behaviors. However, little effort has been made to track and analyze alien plants statewide. We propose to build alien plant data infrastructure by compiling all available information into a map-based data portal, thereby allowing for a biodiversity informatics approach to aid management decisions.

UH PCSU HAPI FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”22. Laying the Groundwork for Landscape Scale Mosquito Control” icon=”chevron”] DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife/DOFAW, $92,646

Abstract: Kauai’s endemic forest bird populations are crashing, primarily due to avian malaria, a disease spread by Culex quinquefasciatus. Human health threats also loom as Aedes japonicus expands its range. Landscape-level mosquito control using Wolbachia is the best solution, but critical data on mosquito distribution, density and habitat use on Kauai are needed to ensure regulatory approval and successful implementation. To meet this need, we build on results of FY19 HISC funding to propose a multisite study along temperature and moisture gradients on the Alakai Plateau during peak mosquito breeding season in 2020, coupled with local control of mosquito larvae and surveys of the bird population. Combined with vigorous outreach, this work will advance landscape mosquito control throughout Hawaii.

DLNR DOFAW Mosquito Control Research FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”23. Trap Development & Biological Assessment of Acalolepta aesthetica on Cacao” icon=”chevron”] USDA-ARS, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center/PBARC, $32,527

Abstract: A longhorn beetle from Australia, Acalolepta aesthetica, is established on Hawaii island where larvae are killing important tree species such as cacao, kukui, and Citrus spp. Because this beetle has been very poorly studied, we do not know all the species that are under attack. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop methods for its control to limit spread throughout the Hawaiian islands, decrease population size, limit impact on high-value crops, and determine its threat to forest trees. We propose to develop a trap to remove adults from the wild, directly decreasing the population on the island. Trapped adults will be used to develop a genetic tool to identify longhorn beetle larvae to species which can be used to rapidly confirm or deny infestation of new tree species by A. aesthetica.

USDA-ARS PBARC  Acololepta aesthetica Trap Development FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”24. Biological Control of Invasive Rubus Species” icon=”chevron”] USDA-FS, $31,000

Abstract: This proposal aims to advance the research into biological control of two invasive plant species, Rubus ellipticus and Rubus niveus. Previous funding (State of Hawaii, HISC, USDA, HAWP) enabled the prioritization of selected natural enemies as potential biocontrol agents following surveys in the plants’ native range of the Indian Himalayan foothills and species taxonomic identification. Indian export permits are in place for four prioritized insect species. Initial host-range testing including closely related Hawaiian non-target species will be conducted in the UK for one of these insect agents following its recollection and export from India in 2019. Depending on the results, it is proposed to fully evaluate the selected agent or to recollect and assess other prioritized natural enemies.

USDA-FS Biocontrol of Invasive Rubus spp. FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”25. Mongoose Toxicant Bait Station Development & Evaluation” icon=”chevron”] USDA APHIS WS, National Wildlife Research Center, $21,070

Abstract: Continue HISC-funded mongoose toxic bait development by engineering and testing a bait station to protect native species and prevent bait consumption by rats.

USDA APHIS WS NWRC Mongoose Toxicant Bait Station Development FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”26. Plants of Hawaii Online Species Information System” icon=”chevron”] Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum/BPBM, Botany Department, $66,025

Abstract: There is a vital need for updating our resources for plant identification and species information in Hawaii. We propose to bring the flora of Hawaii up to date with a new web portal which will feature dynamic keys for identifying plants and generating checklists as well as new descriptions, updated taxonomy, images and geographic distributions for all naturalized and native plant taxa. The species information system will aggregate data from several other systems and will serve as a curated repository for images and other digital media. The system, maintain by Bishop Museum, will be updated regularly as new data becomes available. It is our goal to make the Plants of Hawaii online species information system the most useful digital resource for plant research and identification in the state.

BPBM Botany Hawaii Online Species Information System FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”27. Investigating a Novel Method to Extirpate Hawaii’s Most Prolific Marine Invasive, Leather Mudweed, Avrainvillea lacerata” icon=”chevron”] UH, Department of Botany, $45,000

Abstract: Hawaii’s most noxious seaweed, the leather mudweed, Avrainvillea lacerata, formerly A. amadelpha, is dominant around Oʻahu and has recently invaded coastal Kauaʻi and Maui (Wade 2019). Despite substantial management and biocontrol efforts, no strategy successfully removes the plants’ buried and perennial holdfast. Regrowth is inevitable. We build on recent studies showing the injecting small doses of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into a holdfast is effective and a new option to kill this invasive plant. There are no toxic by-products. Low concentrations of H2O2 (3 or 12%) reduce photosynthesis to zero for days, in experiments. Terrestrial plant applications may be found. If funded, 2019-20 field work will test large scale regional applicability at two Oʻahu regions with 100% invasive cover.

UH Botany Leather Mudweed/Avrainvillea lacerata Eradication FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”28. Biocontrol of Himalayan Ginger” icon=”chevron”] USDA, Forest Service, $9,159

Abstract: Himalayan ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) continues to pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s watersheds, invading forests to an extent beyond the scope of physical and chemical control. CABI has identified a variety of biological agents with potential to contribute to long term control of this intractable weed. With new permits for export from India, research into biological control has resumed under a 3-year collaborative work-plan and longer-term funding commitment from New Zealand. Further funds are needed to support work on the agent prioritised for H. gardnerianum in Hawaii, a shoot mining fly, Merochlorops cf. dimorphus. Further evaluation is needed to characterise the genetic variability of this fly and confirm its host range and impact before an application for release can be submitted.

USDA-FS Biocontrol of Hedychium gardnerianum FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”29. Evaluating Natural Enemies of Albizia (Falcataria moluccana) as Potential Biocontrol Agents” icon=”chevron”] USDA, Forest Service, $180,000

Abstract: Self-perpetuating biocontrol is needed for long term management of albizia, which destroys native landscapes and threatens Hawaii businesses and taxpayers with many millions of dollars in damage. Building upon exploratory surveys completed in 2015-17, this project tests biocontrol potential for two arthropods and a rust pathogen and explores further for enemies attacking reproduction. We will collect, identify and evaluate enemies with partners in albizia’s native range (Indonesia) and secure permits for international shipment of promising agents for evaluation in quarantine. We will use albizia samples previously collected across the native range to generate genetic data to allow targeting natural enemies optimally adapted for biocontrol of albizia populations in Hawaii.

USDA-FS Biocontrol of Albizia FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”30. The Efficiency of Different Trap Types in Controlling the Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) in Hawaii” icon=”chevron”] DLNR DOFAW/USDA APHIS, $48,548

Abstract: Although island-wide mongoose eradication in Hawaii is unlikely, refining methodology to reduce mongoose impacts on wildlife, agriculture, and human health at smaller spatial scales is an important objective. Current control measures are insufficient and labor intensive. Multi-kill traps baited with long-life lures offer the ability to effectively control mongoose while reducing labor costs. This study will document the ability of multi-kill traps to reduce mongoose populations and produce a cost benefit analysis for managers in Hawaii. Prior to treatment, mongoose population size will be determined at four sites, followed by a prescribed treatment (multi-kill traps, single-kill traps, 50-50 mixture, and control), and a post-treatment population study to determine efficacy of treatments. A new version of the Goodnature A24 CO2-fired captive bolt multi-kill device for rats, modified for use on mongooses (Goodnature A18) is in development. We will evaluate efficacy and cost for removing mongoose from agriculture and forest plots compared to traditional cage trapping.

DLNR DOFAW/USDA APHIS NWRC Mongoose Trap Efficacy FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”31. Wolbachia Outcrossing, Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Testing & Colony Maintenance for Hawaii Lineage Ae. aegypti & Ae. albopictus Mosquitoes” icon=”chevron”] , $61,989

Abstract: Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti mosquitoes are invasive species that pose a significant risk to public health within Hawaii. An insect incompatibility technique using the bacterium Wolbachia has the potential to suppress these mosquito populations through cytoplasmic incompatibility. This process involves collecting and rearing a population of genetically diverse mosquitoes equivalent to Hawaii’s native populations, outcrossing the males from these populations with Wolbachia trans-infected female lines, backcrossing with the Hawaii lineage to rear a larger trans-infected population, and pre-forming PCR testing to ensure successful Wolbachia outcrossing within the Hawaii lineage. These mosquitoes will then be maintained in the development facility until they can be imported back into Hawaii.

HDOH Wolbachia Outcrossing FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”32. Biocontrol of Invasive Melastomes” icon=”chevron”] USDA, Forest Service, $74,000

Abstract: We request continuing HISC support for development of biocontrol agents for miconia, clidemia, tibouchina and other melastomes. We will conclude quarantine rearing and specificity testing of the gall wasp Allorhogas clidemiae that attacks fruits of Clidemia hirta in Brazil. We will continue collection and evaluation of its relative Allorhogas granivorus, galling fruits of Miconia calvescens; Ditylenchus gallaeformans, a nematode gall-former which attacks both clidemia and miconia; and Syphraea uberabensis, proposed for release against Tibouchina herbacea and related melastomes. These projects depend on having support to travel to collect agents and to foster joint studies with foreign collaborators, and support for staff to maintain insects and their host plants in quarantine.

USDA-FS Biocontrol of Invasive Melastomes FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”33. Detection & Invasive Potential of Arcte coerula (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), a New Potential Pest of Mamaki in Hawaii. ” icon=”chevron”] UH, CTAHR, $15,535

Abstract: A new invasive Lepidoptera species, Arcte coerula, has been reported feeding on the endemic mamaki (Pipturus albidus) in Hawaii. This insect can potentially impact endemic insect species, including the Kamehameha butterfly. We propose to survey mamaki populations for new infestations A. coerula, determine the distribution and phenology of the insect, and assess its potential impacts on the plants and associated endemic insects. We will also quantify the impact of parasitoids on A. coerula, and assess the need for classical biological control. Currently at least seven species of parasitic wasps attack Lepidoptera on mamaki. This work will demonstrate the expected significance of a new invasive species on an endemic plant and Lepidoptera assemblage, and test the biotic resistance hypothesis.

UH CTAHR Arcte coerula Survey & Assessment FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”33. Mosquito Rearing Technician” icon=”chevron”] DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife/DOFAW, $17,477

Abstract: Conventional mosquito control methods are localized and thus not broadly effective, but new technological approaches offer solutions which could provide control at larger scale. We are currently focused on developing and implementing a Landscape Scale Mosquito Control strategy using the Insect Incompatibility technique (IIT) to control the primary vector of Avian Malaria, and some human health threats. Mass rearing of mosquitoes is key to the application of this technology in Hawaii. Here we propose the partial funding and training of a mosquito laboratory rearing technician. This technician will optimize mass rearing of mosquitoes targeted for control in Hawaii and provide support to ongoing USFWS, RCUH and DOH projects.

DLNR DOFAW Mosquito Rearing Technician FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)



[spoiler title=”35. Ballast Water and Hull Biofouling Program” icon=”chevron”] DLNR, Division of Aquatic Resources/DAR, $86,034

Abstract: The State of Hawaii has a unique biological heritage that has inherent, cultural, ecological, and economic value. The islands’ geological history and biogeographic isolation provide a rich and distinct biodiversity that is threatened by introduced and invasive species. A report estimated that around 78% of the aquatic non-indigenous marine algae and invertebrate species arrived as hitchhikers in ballast water (BW) and as biofouling (BF). This proposal aims to minimize further introduction through coordinating policy development, outreach/education, stakeholder collaboration, vessel biosecurity risk assessments, monitoring efforts, and building capacity within Hawaii’s Ballast Water and Biofouling Program.

DLNR DAR Ballast Water & Hull Biofouling FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)

[/su_spoiler] [spoiler title=”36. The Future Bee: Protection of Hawaii’s bee stock from invasive Africanized honey bees” icon=”chevron”] UH, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources/CTAHR, $41,130

Abstract: This project focuses on three important aspects of honey bee biosecurity:1- Reduce the risk of the introduction of the Africanized honey bee (AHB) to Hawaii. The AHB can be highly aggressive, is less productive in terms of honey, and more prone to abandon hives, which leads to a reduction in pollination services.2-Survey and evaluate the genetic pool diversity of local honey bees on each island, making sure no AHB is here, and confirm bee races we have as of now.3- Examine the phylogenetic origins of the current bee pests (wax moth, small hive beetle, and Varroa mite) using mitochondrial DNA and haplotypes. Assess the introduction pathway and inter island movement of bee pests. This information could help identify movement patterns and make biosecurity adjustments/regulations.

UH CTAHR Hawaii Bee Protection FY20 Final Report (to be posted upon completion of project)



FY20 Call for Proposals

The FY20 Call for Proposals and online application form for interagency funding from the Hawaii Invasive Species Council is available at: https://hiscfunding.formstack.com/forms/fy20


HISC funds are provided to the Council by the Legislature to support interagency collaborations that:

  • fill gaps between agency mandates and existing programs, or
  • advance our collective knowledge and tools through research and innovations.
This year’s Call for Proposals is focused on 10 priority areas based on the new Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan, as well as the HISC Strategic Plan, HISC Resolutions, and the Regional Biosecurity Plan. These priority areas, and potential projects that address them, are presented in the Call for Proposals.


Applications can be completed online and must be finalized by 5pm on June 9. If you have any questions, please contact Randy Bartlett at [email protected]


Reporting Guidelines for FY20 Funded Projects Data