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Managing Non-native Game Mammals to Reduce Future Conflicts with Native Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i

A Pacific Islands CASC Directed Funding FY 2018 Project
Principal Investigator
Steve Hess

Dates

Start Date
2018-08-06
End Date
2020-08-06
Release Date
2018

Summary

Landscape-scale conservation of threatened and endangered species is often challenged by multiple, sometimes conflicting, land uses. In Hawaiʻi, efforts to conserve native forests have come into conflict with objectives to sustain non-native game mammals, such as feral pigs, goats, and deer, for subsistence and sport hunting. Maintaining stable or increasing game populations represents one of the greatest obstacles to the recovery of Hawaii’s 425 threatened and endangered plant species. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. Meanwhile, other environmental changes, including the spread of invasive grasses and changing precipitation patterns and wildfire regimes [...]

Child Items (3)

Contacts

Principal Investigator :
Steve Hess
Funding Agency :
Pacific Islands CASC
Cooperator/Partner :
James Jacobi, Lucas Fortini, Stephen Miller, Scott Fretz
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Attached Files

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Maui_Plants_MPD.jpg
“Plants on Maui, Public Domain”
thumbnail 289.71 KB

Purpose

Landscape-scale conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species must accommodate multiple, sometimes conflicting land uses. Across the state of Hawai‘i, for example, management of non-native game mammals for hunting poses a challenge to native forest conservation land uses. Maintenance of “sustained yield” non-native mammals by definition requires a stable or increasing game population leading to perhaps the greatest obstacle to the landscape-scale recovery of threatened and endangered Hawaiian plant species of forest ecosystems. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a direct or indirect result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. The adverse ecological effects of non-native game mammals on native ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands have been well-documented in more than 58 studies (Leopold and Hess 2017). Combined with inherent changes to Hawai‘i’s native biodiversity from non-native mammals, environmental conditions are changing rapidly through the interactions of rainfall, cyclical El Niño/La Niña climate events (Wang et al. 2017), invasive species spread including pyrogenic grasses (D’Antonio and Vitousek 1992), and changing wildfire regimes (Prichard et al. 2017). These factors are expected to result in distribution changes and range contraction of important native forest species. To support the cultural and conservation goals of landscape-scale native species recovery and game hunting, sufficient habitat in appropriate eco-regions are needed to ensure viable populations of native plant species especially vulnerable to extinction from non-native game animals and changing climatic conditions.

Project Extension

parts
typeTechnical Summary
valueLandscape-scale conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species must accommodate multiple, sometimes conflicting land uses. Across the state of Hawai‘i, for example, management of non-native game mammals for hunting poses a challenge to native forest conservation land uses. Maintenance of “sustained yield” non-native mammals by definition requires a stable or increasing game population leading to perhaps the greatest obstacle to the landscape-scale recovery of threatened and endangered Hawaiian plant species of forest ecosystems. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a direct or indirect result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. The adverse ecological effects of non-native game mammals on native ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands have been well-documented in more than 58 studies (Leopold and Hess 2017). Combined with inherent changes to Hawai‘i’s native biodiversity from non-native mammals, environmental conditions are changing rapidly through the interactions of rainfall, cyclical El Niño/La Niña climate events (Wang et al. 2017), invasive species spread including pyrogenic grasses (D’Antonio and Vitousek 1992), and changing wildfire regimes (Prichard et al. 2017). These factors are expected to result in distribution changes and range contraction of important native forest species. To support the cultural and conservation goals of landscape-scale native species recovery and game hunting, sufficient habitat in appropriate eco-regions are needed to ensure viable populations of native plant species especially vulnerable to extinction from non-native game animals and changing climatic conditions.
projectStatusIn Progress

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2018
totalFunds207304.0
parts
typeAward Type
valueCOA
typeAward Number
valueC18000637
totalFunds207304.0

Plants on Maui, Public Domain
Plants on Maui, Public Domain

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Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS

Communities

  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Pacific Islands CASC

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Additional Information

Alternate Titles

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 7f201337-ce20-4326-8fa9-5c206af4ffc7
StampID NCCWSC PI18-CH1531

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