Fences protect 8,000 acres of Kaua‘i wilderness


Endangered species hotspot now guarded against goats, pigs
A new pair of fences in the remote wilderness of Kaua‘i will reportedly protect the island’s primary source of water and one of the most important biological diversity hotspots in the Hawaiian archipelago.

These strong barriers, developed by The Nature Conservancy for the benefit of the Kaua‘i Watershed Alliance, will shelter 8,000 acres of the state’s most pristine wildland from the onslaught of invading feral animals, a news release states.

“These are just amazing areas. Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by incredible native Hawaiian birds, plants and insects. There is nowhere in the state like quite like it,” said Jeff Schlueter, Kaua‘i natural resource manager for The Nature Conservancy.

Ken Wood, a prominent biologist with the National Tropical Botanical Garden, which is a key partner in the Kaua‘i Alliance, said the biological diversity of the region is remarkable. He calls the area “one of the most important conservation sites in the entire archipelago.”

This land is also the core of the island’s watershed, a place where abundant rains and mists are soaked up and then feed the island’s rivers and its aquifer.

“These fences were conceived to protect the primary source of the island’s water supply.


LIHU‘E — Celebrate Arbor Day in Hawai‘i and “go green” by purchasing and planting a native plant from the Arbor Day plant sale on Friday, November 5, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Pua Loke nursery located at 4398-D Pua Loke St. in Lihu‘e.

Local floral enthusiasts and rare plant collectors look forward to the annual event, especially since DOFAW began offering federally listed threatened and endangered plants, native to Hawai‘i and used for the State’s conservation programs.

This year’s sale will feature a diverse array of Kaua‘i’s botanical gems, such as Ma‘o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei), Aloalo (Hibiscus clayi), Hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus distans), Uhiuhi (Caesalpinia kavaiensis), and Loulu (Pritchardia remota). All of these species are endemic to Hawai‘i, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world, and will bear a numbered tag for authenticity.