One major goal of the Hawaiian Ecosystem at Risk project (HEAR) is to provide infrastructure and impetus to create a publicly-available information base of data about (potentially) harmful non-indigenous species in Hawaii. Information collected or created by HEAR is maintained in various databases and disseminated on the world-wide web (or in hard copy on request) in various useful formats. HEAR maintains contact with all major "players" in the alien species arena statewide; national and international contacts are cultivated, as well. Additionally, federal, state, and private organizations--as well as unaffiliated private citizens--are voluntarily contributing data to the existing system that HEAR maintains. Also, several forays have been made by HEAR to gather specific species- or island-based information. Energy expended to obtain updates for existing information on will be particularly worthwhile, since such efforts will complement an increasingly rich data base.
A sizable body of useful alien species information and practical field control experience exists in Hawaii, but much of it has not historically been available in one place or in a form that managers in many different agencies can readily access or use. HEAR was conceived by representatives of a number of local agencies and has been funded since 1995 by (what is now) the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey to help in alleviating some of these data availability problems. HEAR has been successfully providing information, technology, and technical support to land managers in Hawaii in their fights against harmful non-indigenous (alien) species. HEAR now provides to land managers in Hawaii maps, technical reports, internal/public information dissemination systems, internet e-mail forums, custom software, database design services, other consulting services, and a plethora of world-wide-web-based information regarding harmful non-indigenous species in Hawaii.
(Text prepared by Philip A. Thomas [HEAR], 12/14/1999)