Monsanto Fund Donates $20,000 for Molokai Watershed Protection
Monsanto Molokai News Release
The Monsanto Fund awarded a $20,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Hawaii for watershed protection at Kamakou Preserve on Molokai. Since 2006, the Monsanto Fund has contributed a total of $130,000 to TNC’s protection and restoration efforts of critical watershed and fragile ecosystems on Molokai.
Located high in the mountains of East Molokai, the 2,774-acre Kamakou Preserve is a rainforest like no other on the planet. This magnificent natural treasure not only shelters hundreds of native plants and animals, but also serves as an important source of water for the island and its people.
TNC’s work at Kamakou Preserve, in collaboration with the public and private landowners of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership, is focused on invasive animal and weed control.
“Molokai’s forested watersheds today are under constant assault from established and new invasive species,” said Ed Misaki, TNC’s Molokai Program Director. “Feral ungulates (hoofed animals) like wild pigs, goats and deer are steadily eroding fragile topsoil. Once this soil disturbance occurs, invasive plants that did not evolve here, like blackberry and strawberry guava, steadily displace our native forests and watersheds. Once lost, they may be impossible to fully restore at any price.”
Hunters hired to control invasive species on Hawaii island have killed their first axis deer.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday the deer was captured in the southern part of the island.
Big Island Invasive Species Committee Manager Jan Schipper declined to say specifically where the deer was killed to prevent interference with the committee’s two hunters.
The animal native to India and Sri Lanka was first introduced to Molokai and Oahu in 1868, Lanai in 1920, and Maui in 1959, but they hadn’t been found on the Big Island until last year.
Non-native mammals such as like pigs and goats already damage the island’s environment. But axis deer are a new type of menace in part because they’re so large they can jump over fences that are meant to protect native forests.
Scientists and farming leaders are urgently seeking ways of fighting a disease new to the UK threatening sheep flocks.
Weeks after government vets confirmed the arrival in Britain of the deadly Schmallenberg virus, which causes miscarriages and birth deformities in lambs, 74 farms in southern and eastern England have been found to have the disease and the number is expected to rise sharply as the lambing season peaks.
Restrictions on animal movements, imports and exports are unlikely because officials do not want to further jeopardise rural economies to combat a virus that has also affected cattle and goats across Europe but is not thought to be dangerous to people. Public health bodies are monitoring the health of farmers, farm workers and vets who have been in contact with infected animals.
The National Farmers Union has warned of a “ticking time bomb” over the disease, which has affected up to 20% of lambs on some farms. The virus, which is thought to have been carried by midges over the North Sea or English Channel, is named after a farm in Germany where it was first identified last year. It was initially seen in cattle and quickly spread through the Netherlands and Belgium to northern France.
The Army says it is closing Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island to hunting because of heightened security at military installations around the world.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii said Monday that hunting will not be allowed at Pohakuloa until the Department of Defense lowers security levels.
The Army normally opens a part of the base to civilian hunters for about 50 days each year to help control wild pigs, sheep and goats.
The feral animals could damage rare and endangered plant habitats if they are not controlled. Allowing civilian hunters to use Pohakuloa also helps the Army’s relations with community members.
LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department arrested two Kilauea men in connection with the theft of a goat last month belonging to Kunana Dairy, according to a county press release.
Dairy co-owner Louisa Wooton said a few days after the theft that her goat, Kaitlyn, was “like a family member,” and was weeks away from giving birth. The killers beheaded Kaitlyn, and took all the edible parts, including the head, leaving behind the guts and unborn kids, according to Wooton.
She said on May 2 the dairy was offering a $11,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for killing Kaitlyn. Wooton couldn’t be reached by press time on Friday for comments.
Ryan Winchell, 29, was arrested Wednesday for first-degree criminal property damage, second-degree theft, theft of livestock, place to keep firearm and storage of firearm. His bail was set at $8,100.
Russell Ho‘omanawanui, 29, was arrested Friday for first-degree criminal property damage, second-degree theft, theft of livestock and place to keep firearm. His bail was set at $8,000.
KPD said the two men stole a three-year-old goat, four months into pregnancy, from a pasture in Moloa‘a sometime between April 27 and 29, the release stated.
The men allegedly climbed over a fence to gain access to the private property where the goats were kept.
KILAUEA — Sometime between dusk on Thursday and dawn on Friday, a pregnant goat from Kilauea’s Kunana Dairy was gutted and beheaded, her unborn kids dumped next to her insides, sources said Monday.
“Nothing like that has ever happened to us before,” dairy co-owner Louisa Wooton said. “You have no idea how horrible it was. She was like a family member.”
A trespasser is suspected of killing Kaitlyn, Kunana’s goat named after a former worker.
Wooton said Kaitlyn was gutted in a field in Moloa‘a about a mile from the dairy’s main pasture in Kilauea.
“They took her meat, they took her head, they took everything that was edible from her and left everything else there on the ground,” she said.
Wooton said she discovered what was left of Kaitlyn on Friday afternoon, when she went to check on her goats in Moloa‘a.
“Our goats are so fricking tame, she was probably kissing his hands while he knifed her in the heart,” Wooton said.
Next to Kaitlyn’s remains, the killer left behind a Winchester hunting knife, unspent shotgun shells and a pair of sunglasses.
Kaitlyn, a 4-year-old white doe, was two weeks away from giving birth. Wooton said besides being a family member, Kaitlyn was also a working animal that generated $7,000 in annual income for the dairy.