HONOLULU — State officials are leading efforts to save Hawaii’s native and rare plants.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife is operating several nurseries where rare plant species are grown on Hawaii Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai.
“Our native ecosystems are very unique, and at the same time, they’re also very vulnerable to disturbance by human activity and invasive species we’re all well-aware now,” Oahu botanist Laura Reynolds told KHON-TV (http://bit.ly/2bL0S9t).
Reynolds said over 30 percent of Hawaii’s 1,400 native plant species are considered threatened and endangered.
Ongoing efforts to identify vulnerable plant populations, collect seeds and grow plants in state-managed facilities are progressing well, Reynolds said.
The state and its partners use state-propagated native plants to help restore natural areas on a large scale in the Nakula Natural Area Reserve and Kahikinui Forest Reserve on Maui.
In Nakula, work to remove feral cattle, goats, deer and pigs has helped pave the way for over 97 acres of degraded land to be restored with over 64,000 native Hawaiian plants. Neighboring Kahikinui has seen similar success, as about 50,000 native plants have been planted.
Several important native Hawaiian tree species and native species of shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants have been successfully propagated and planted at several different restoration sites. Reforesting these areas will also foster the recovery of other native species, such as birds and snails.
Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com