State officials are developing plans to remove axis deer in Hawaii County before damage becomes significant to ranch grasslands, farm crops and plants that are vital to maintain watershed areas.
“We will need to take quick and effective action to prevent costly and destructive impacts on the Big Island that will last for generations, perhaps forever,” said William Aila, director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Kahua Ranch Ltd. Chairman Monte Richards said axis deer can cause great damage to Hawaii island’s forest in Kohala and become difficult to remove once they’re established.
“The thing is to get to them early, and you’ve got a chance,” Richards said.
Richards said Hawaii island ranchers successfully fought against the idea of importing axis deer in the 1960s. He suspects the axis deer were illegally shipped to the island in recent years by someone who wanted the animal for game hunting.
State conservation officials working closely with trackers and using game cameras to survey areas in recent weeks have confirmed the presence of axis deer across the island, including in Kohala, Kau, Kona and Mauna Kea.
Almost 400 invasive plant species have set up home as weeds on some of the world’s most distant oceanic islands.
Hawaii has been particularly inundated by invasive weeds. For Hawaii alone, it is said that 10,000 non-native plant taxa have been introduced to the islands. A vast majority have been deliberately introduced and
Botanist Dr Christoph Kueffer
About half now dominate their new habitat, and hundreds more species are expected to invade these once pristine islands in the coming years.
So says the most comprehensive survey to date of invasive plants on island archipelagos.
Worse, people are mainly to blame, having repeatedly introduced these weeds into their farms and gardens.
Non-native plants and animals can be extremely destructive.
But while it is undisputed that many invasive animals such as rats and cats pose a major threat to biodiversity, it is less clear what role invasive plants play in changing native habitats.
So botanist Dr Christoph Kueffer of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and colleagues across Europe analysed how many species of invasive plants have become established on island archipelagos.
Hawaii agriculture gets boost from feds
August 6, 2009
Federal lawmakers have designated more than $16 million in federal funding to improve Hawaii’s agriculture. A large part, more than $11 million, will go to research — that includes addressing Hawaii’s farming struggles, our floriculture industry and tropical fish population.
$106,000 will fund the Hawaii Plant Materials Center located on Moloka’i. The center enables the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission to reintroduce native plant species in their efforts to control invasive plants and erosion on the island of Kaho’olawe. They will also receive a portion of $376,000 to stimulate agricultural development and conservation at the local level.