Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)

Archived Historical
HEAR news phlashes

from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)

Archival HEAR news phlashes

This page archives historical news phlashes from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR). For current HEAR news phlashes, see the "News Phlashes" section on the current HEAR home page.

HEAR News Phlashes moved to facebook
News item updates are now posted on HEAR's facebook page (public; no need for a facebook account). Please check there frequently (and "like" the page if you do have a facebook account) for frequent news updates relevant to invasive species and conservation in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. [posted 20111110]

USGS gets $1.2M to develop tools, training systems for controlling brown tree snakes [posted 22 August 2011]

Small hive beetle a threat to bees on Maui & Molokai
The small hive beetle, a pest posing a serious threat to honeybees, has been detected for the first time on Maui and Molokai, state agriculture officials reported. After visiting Maui a week ago to check on its honeybee population, a scientist and researchers from the University of Hawaii confirmed Wednesday that the beetle was found in a sample taken from hives in East Maui. In early May, a beekeeper at Keonekuino on Molokai reported the presence of the beetle, and it was later confirmed by UH researchers.

Hawaiian invertebrates photo gallery
Nearly 500 images of native Hawaiian invertebrates are now available in the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) image gallery, thanks to the generosity of photographer Hank L. Oppenheimer:
The dozens of species represented in this collection are also categorized by taxon:
We hope you will find this to be an invaluable resource.

Hawaii Governor Restores Agricultural Inspector Positions
Governor Neil Abercrombie approved the hiring of 10 agricultural inspectors, restoring some positions that were eliminated in 2009. The 10 positions will increase the level of inspections of produce and agricultural material and decrease inspection delays at Honolulu International Airport.

A major dilemma
A major dilemma faces Hawaii: how will the state fund effective agricultural inspection and quarantine? There are many options but there seem to be no simple solutions. The Kahului Airport Pest Risk Assessment has given the Hawaii Department of Agriculture an opportunity to float a promising vision of how gaps in Hawaii's prevention system could be filled through implementation of a biosecurity strategy. The Hawaii Legislature, impressed with the vision and need, has tried to develop funding sources to enable the vision to come to fruition. But the dilemma of where funding will come from may be still open to question. [ read the full article ]

PIER updated
A new edition of the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) website has been posted at www.hear.org/pier. Major additions include weed risk assessments prepared for Florida (U.S.) that are also applicable to the Pacific, a complete update of French Polynesia based on the Nadeaud database, an update of other French island possessions, new Hawaiian invasives reported by the Hawaii Biological Survey, Pacific voucher data from the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and invasive plants present on Maloelap Atoll, Marshall Islands. As always, there are many new species, locations, common names and other updates. Coming soon: 160 new weed risk assessments for Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.

Coffee borer discovered in Hawaii
A coffee borer (Hypothenemus hampei) has been found in Hawaii. This is one of the worst coffee pests in the world, and has the potential to greatly impact Hawaii's coffee production.

Florida weed risk assessments
Weed risk assessments for Florida are now online. 260 species have been analyzed for invasive potential in Florida for The Nature Conservancy by Doria Gordon et al., and the detailed results are now publicly available. Many of the results would likely be applicable to these same species in Hawaii because of similarities of climates in the two areas.

Sting operation: catch the little fire ant
The little fire ant arrived on Maui undetected and we're trying to find it. This stinging little ant is like no other ant currently on Maui; it threatens to change our quality of life, environment, and agriculture. Your eyes and ears are needed to expose every population of little fire ant early. Together we can avoid the fate of places like the Hilo area of Big Island, where the population of little fire ant has exploded since 1999, infesting yards, houses, even schools. [ more ]

Winning the LFA battle on Maui?
The only known infestation of little fire ant on Maui may have been eradicated, according to a press release from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Also, an article in the Maui News (12 February 2010) provides additional information about the issue from Maui-based sources.

Litle fire ant found on Maui
The Iittle fire ant (LFA) (Wasmannia auropunctata) was found on Maui on 02 October 2009, according to this press release from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (dated 15 October 2009).

Farmers outraged: proposed layoffs may bury an industry
"A meeting at the State Capitol last Thursday drew testimony from dozens of people concerned about how planned layoffs of more than 50 state agricultural inspectors will impact Hawaii’s export industry." According to the article, the state will also be at greater risk from imported pest species.

PIER updated!
The Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER) website has been updated. The report on invasive species to the Republic of Palau, invasive species information for the Galapagos, Marquesas Islands invasive species lists, and invasive species lists for Wallis Island and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have been added or updated, along with many other updates to PIER data.

Molokai marine invaders
Stinging intruders: invasive jellyfish removed from Kaunakakai Wharf. Unusual and unwanted creatures made a stinging entrance to Kaunakakai Wharf several weeks ago. There was a population explosion of mangrove upside down jellyfish, mildly stinging sea invertebrates with tentacles in shades of brown and green. ...The jellyfish are not the only invasive species on the target list for removal from Molokai’s waters. An invasive algae commonly known as gorilla ogo is threatening coral reefs on Molokai.... [ read the entire story ]

Hawaii Conservation Conference 2009
The topic of the 2009 Hawaii Conservation Conference (28-30 July 2009) is "Hawaii in a changing climate: ecological, cultural, economic and policy challenges and solutions."

Swine flu info
The latest information about swine flu from the Hawaii Department of Health is available online.

Invasive species along Maui roadsides to be catalogued
Maui's roads are about to be scrutinized for exotic plants. They come from distant places, and all have something in common. They are on a list of more than 100 plants that Forest and Kim Starr will be on the lookout for as they scour the island over the next eight months. [full article]

Call to action RE: waiawi View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
"[B]iocontrol...is our best and most economical option" for control of strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), says the Conservation Council of Hawaii. Information regarding biocontrol for strawberry guava--locally known as waiawi--is provided, including information about the effects of waiawi on water quality, native plants & animals, public access to lands, Hawaiian culture, and diversified agriculture.

Herp prevention study released
"Alien reptiles and amphibians are deserving of greater attention that has hitherto been bestowed upon them by managers and researchers. Eradication or control of established taxa will generally be infeasible, leaving prevention of introductions as the primary management tool for controlling herpetological invasions.... Because of variation in pathway importance, information on how taxonomic, temporal, and geographic variables co-vary with economic and social data may allow for predictive assessment of pathway risk for accidental introductions. In contrast, some predictive assessment of taxon risk was achieved using variables that measure climate-matching between native and introduced ranges, phylogenetic risk, and prior history of successful taxon establishment." (Citation: Kraus, F. 2008. Using pathway analysis to inform prevention strategies for alien reptiles and amphibians. Pp. 94-103 /in/ Witmer, G.W., W.C. Pitt, and K.A. Fagerstone (eds.), Managing vertebrate invasive species: proceedings of an international symposium. USDA/ APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado.)

Setback feared in Isles' fight against invasive species
Budget cuts may weaken or even eliminate some of Hawaii's key defenses against invasive species, reports the Honolulu Advertiser in its 28 January 2009 article Setback feared in Isles' fight against invasive species.

Recent additions to the HEAR website
A summary of new links added to the HEAR website is now available online with new links listed in (approximate) reverse chronological order. This provides a quick way for you to keep up with "what's new" on the site.

2009 International Miconia Conference
The 2009 International Miconia Conference will convene on Maui (Hawaii) 4-7 May 2009 and will bring together scientists, resource managers, field technicians, and funding agencies to focus on the challenges and successes associated with miconia invasions across the Pacific. The conference will provide opportunities to review current control strategies, learn the status of potential biocontrol agents, discuss outreach and funding strategies, and explore the beautiful East Maui region.

Phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal and predation, and seedling establishment of three invasive plant species in a Hawaiian rain forest
Dr. Art Medeiros's doctoral dissertation is now available online. "After rain forest of Haleakala National Park was fenced in the late 1980s, native vegetation responded vigorously yet three problematic plant invaders (Clidemia hirta, Hedychium gardnerianum, and Psidium cattleianum) continued to spread unabated and became of great concern to Park managers. This contribution provides a quantitative assessment of crucial life history junctures (quantitative phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal, seed predation, seedling establishment) to assist Haleakala NP and other managers of Hawaiian rain forests. It also provides detailed information for potentially identifying key characteristics in prevention, rapid response, and prioritization of incoming invasive species." (URL: www.hear.org/articles/medeiros2004dissertation/)

Importing safe insects the only hope of saving Maui's native koa forests
Importing safe insects is the only hope of saving Maui's native koa forests, says Dr. Art Medeiros. He writes that "[t]here is no more important decision we can make as a community regarding the fate of native Hawaiian watershed forests than [to support the introduction into Hawaii of strawberry guava biological control]."

Governor signs new noxious weed law
A recent article explains that "[Hawaii] Governor Linda Lingle signed a bill into law this week that will regulate the importation and sale of plants harmful to public health, agriculture or the environment.... The old law allowed the HDOA to regulate the importation and movement of the restricted plants, but the HDOA had no authority to regulate the sale of restricted plants. Under the new law, the HDOA is allowed to prohibit the sale of noxious weeds in the state and allow the importation of noxious weeds for research purposes only." [ more ]

Hawaii Ant Plan now online
The Hawaii ant plan, prepared by the Hawaii Ant Group, is now online.

Fighting invasive species in Hawaii
Fighting invasive species in Hawaii is the topic of a recent article in the Honolulu Advertiser. (info added 14 January 2008)

Global Compendium of Weeds: UPDATED!
The Global Compendium of Weeds website has been UPDATED with new data and a new format.

The weedy truth about biofuels
"The weedy truth about biofuels" is a new report from the Invasive Species Council (Australia). [ more ]

Got dead bird?
Report dead birds in Hawaii to help with early detection of avian flu or West Nile Virus... [ more ]

Snake sighting on Hanalei River (Kauai)!
A snake sighting on Kauai was reported by The Garden Isle newspaper: "Three experts and an eye witness yesterday (25 June 2007) launched kayaks into the Hanalei River to try to track down a snake spotted that afternoon, the fourth reported sighting there since March." If you have information about any missing details, updates to the posted information, or distribution information for other vertebrate species, please send e-mail to webmaster@hear.org.

Study Calls for New Approach to Combat Invasive Species
Nature Conservancy scientists evaluate the economic and ecological threat of expanding plant imports. A press release (21 February 2007) by The Nature Conservancy announces the release of a study examining the disastrous toll that non-native insects and plant diseases are taking on U.S. forests. The report calls for a significant change of approach in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to prevent new invasions. The study--entitled An Ounce of Prevention: How to Stop Invasive Insects and Diseases from Devastating U.S. Forests--was written by senior Conservancy scientists Frank Lowenstein and Faith Campbell.

Apple snail control plan for Hawaii
control plan for the apple snail in Hawaii is now available. This Hawaii-wide plan for control of apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) consolidates the most relevant information about the ecology and behavior of this serious pest of wetlands and agriculture (particularly taro farms). Environmental, agricultural, health, and cultural impacts of the apple snail in Hawaii are assessed, and its current known distribution in Hawaii is mapped. Historic control measures are itemized, and recommendations for current and future actions are detailed. For further information about this plan, contact pennysfh@hawaii.rr.com.

Weeds Gone Wild 2007 Calendar
printable 2007 calendar is available from the Weeds Gone Wild project. The one-month-per-page calendar features images of weedy species from around the U.S.

MISC newsletter
Kiai Na Moku O Maui Nui is the NEW newsletter of the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC), premiering with the fall 2006 issue featuring articles on pampas grass.

Toll-free pest hotline
Hawaii's invasive pest hotline will be staffed 7 days a week, and is now toll-free from neighbor islands. [more...]

Testimony to U.S. Senate
Testimony RE: invasive species to a U.S. Senate subcommittee--particularly with respect to the National Park Service--was presented 09 August 2005.

Erythrina gall wasp
The erythrina gall wasp threatens native & ornamental trees in Hawaii.

Bill proposed for better incoming Hawaii ag inspection
FYI: "Case bill says Hawaii needs incoming federal ag inspections that are same or better as current outgoing ag inspections"

Online book: "Alien plant invasions..."
Alien Plant Invasions in Native Ecosystems of Hawaii, the 1992 book (full text), is now available online.

Online thesis: Chimera 2004
"Investigating seed dispersal and seed predation in a Hawaiian dry forest community: implications for conservation and management" (Chuck Chimera's 2004 Univ. Hawaii M.Sci. thesis) is now available online.

Reeser retires from Haleakala N.P.
Don Reeser retires as superintendent of Haleakala National Park (Maui).

Mail-order exotics on NPR
Invasive exotic plants sold via mail-order are the topic of a recent National Public Radio blurb.

Review of brown treesnake problems and control programs
This March 2005 BTS report View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format summarizes an independent panel review of the brown treesnake program.

Galapagos invasives
New website: A NEW website features invasive species of the Galapagos Islands (bilingual).

USDA grants
New document: USDA grant and partnership programs PDF info that can address invasive species research technical assistance prevention and control

"Mutant aliens invade Hawaii"
Non-native species invade Hawaii's near-shore waters. Read more...

HEAR is hiring a e-mail list administrator. The position is half-time, with pro-rated benefits. See the online announcement or e-mail HEAR for more info.

West Nile Virus info
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potential serious threat to birds and human health in Hawaii. Although as yet (26SEP2004) unconfirmed, WNV may now be on Maui. The Hawaii State Dept. of Health (DOH) provides recommendations and information about reporting dead birds and prevention. DOH also provides an online brochure on  WNVPDF icon

Hawaii Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan now online!
The  Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Management Plan for the State of Hawaii  PDF icon (final version) is now online!

PIER website updated!
The Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER) now has new information posted online about weeds of Pacific Islands, including species accounts, images, and weed risk assessment results!

GISP website relaunched!
The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) has launched its new website!

New coqui website!
Control of coqui frogs in Hawaii is a new website posted by CTAHR!

Info in your electric bill!
Hawaii residents will receive an article on water-conserving and non-invasive landscaping with their next electric bills. The article--including additional "bonus" weblinks--is available on the HEAR website.

"McGregor report" online!
The Emigrant Pests (McGregor, 1973), a 190-page report, is now downloadable as searchable text on the HEAR website. (This report was deemed so important for quarantine issues that it was included as an appendix to the recent Kahului Airport Risk Assessment document.)

New landscaper award!
The Malama i ka 'Aina award has been created to recognize landscape professionals who are helping to keep Maui County free from invasive species!

Hawaii interagency planning report online!
The Alien Pest Species Invasion in Hawaii: Background Study and Recommendations for Interagency Planning, an important yet previously not widely-available report, is now available online in full-text-searchable format.

Images of Hawaii's species online!
Links to images of many of Hawaii's native and non-native organisms are now posted online based on organism checklists from the Hawaii Biological Survey (based at Honolulu's Bernice P. Bishop Museum).

Interagency team gets snake training!
Hawaii sends multi-agency team to Guam for snake search and capture training. See the online press release (including reproducible images) from CGAPS.

Hawaii State Noxious Weed images online!
Links to images of Hawaii's state-declared noxious weeds are now posted online (http://www.hear.org/hawaiinoxiousweeds/).

"Big cat" on Maui?
Here's the latest news on sightings of a "big cat" on Maui!

MISC radio PSA!
Audio files of a new MISC PSA are now available online at the MISC website! This one-minute public service announcement regarding invasive alien species on Maui will air on local (Maui) radio stations between May 19 and June 1.

HEAR website downtime scheduled
The HEAR website is scheduled to be down for about 20 minutes at 2:30pm Hawaii time on Tuesday, June 4. If you experience difficulties accessing the website after 3:00PM HST, please contact webmaster@hear.org.

Plants of Hawaii website online!
Plants of Hawaii is a new website including detailed species reports and roadside occurrence maps for dozens of non-native species on Maui. Also, it features over 3000 images (high-resolution and copyright-free) of over 600 plant taxa of Hawaii (both native and non-native species).

Hypericum perforatum seeds being sold on Maui!
HEAR posts an open a letter to producers of seeds of St. John's Wort, an invasive species absent from most Hawaiian islands but toxic to livestock, requesting that they stop selling seeds of this species.

Reading list posted!
An invasive species "reading list" has been posted, including links to newly-available online sites & articles.

TNC needs writer for aquatic nuisance species plan!
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii is seeking a contractor to prepare a Comprehensive Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan for the State of Hawaii. Details of this and other job openings on HEAR's job announcements page.


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Hawaii's invasion crisis highlighted (AP story)!
The Associated Press has released a story on invasive species, featured in local (and perhaps other national!) newspapers. See the HEAR announcements page for more details!


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New articles online!
There are several newly-posted full-text articles online RE: invasive species, conservation, etc., courtesy of Conservation in Practice. See HEAR's full-text article index & look for the New! icons!


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HEAR updates back on track!
Updates to the HEAR website will continue as normal (from 21AUG2002), as the problems we previously encountered have been resolved. Thank you for your patience!

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HEAR website interruption!
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the HEAR website might not be updated for up to several weeks from Aug. 18, 2002, or may have periods of down time. We are doing all we can to preclude this, but please bear with us if it comes to pass. Meanwhile, continue to send info for posting & it will be included on the website as soon as possible. For more info, contact the HEAR webmaster (webmaster@hear.org). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Maui Axis Deer Group on TV!
The Maui Axis Deer Group (MADG) will be featured on Maui public television Monday, 19 August 2002. See details online!

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Natives Strike Back!
happyface spider
This native happyface spider family chows down on an alien! Read more here!

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LIVE SNAKE in Honolulu airport! Read the entire online article!  

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Position open at MISC!
 MISC is seeking a public relations specialist. For further info, see the writeup on the HEAR announcements page!


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Comments, questions, feedback about this website or its contents? e-mail the HEAR project  This page was created on 19 August 2002 by PT, and was last updated on 01 December 2011 by PT. Valid HTML 4.01!