FY2015 HISC-Funded Projects
Big Island Axis Deer Early Detection & Response, $150,000
Axis deer in Hawaiʻi threaten native forest and watershed health, impact critical habitat, reduce agricultural productivity, and pose serious risks to human safety. The Big Island Deer Working Group (BIDWG) works to ensure Axis Deer never become established on the Big Island. BIDWG was initiated by the Three Mountain Alliance and deer control was assigned to BIISC in 2011. The deer team was recruited by BIISC to coordinate what was expected to be a large, multi- agency incidence command team, focused on eradicating axis deer island-wide. In two years the team successfully located and dispatched 4 deer within two miles of the drop site. During the past 12 months, despite occasional reports, intensive helicopter and ground FLIR surveys of most of the island, no other deer sightings have been confirmed. No live deer have ever been confirmed by BIISC more than two miles from the drop zone. While it will never be possible to declare the island 100% deer-free, deer are below detectable levels now. This situation shifts the effort from control back to an early detection phase, where vigilance and response capacity remain high priorities, but control effort is not required on a daily basis. BIISC continues to maintain a scaled program to prevent the establishment of axis deer on the Big Island by meeting three objectives: 1. Ensure any remaining deer near the known introduction site are detected and dispatched. 2. Respond rapidly, intelligently, and effectively to any new deer introductions. 3. Increase partner involvement and participation.
Early Detection of Invasive Pests on Hawaii Island, $125,000
Hawaii Island is the agricultural and horticultural center of the State of Hawaii. A vigorous nursery import trade puts the island and the entire state at risk from imported invasive plants and pest species. BIISC’s early detection team has proven the effectiveness of roadside surveys (4000 miles, 108 new plant records, 3 eradications, 4 targets in a conclusion phase, in 5 years) and nursery surveys (10 of 24 planned nurseries surveyed, 4 noxious/invasive pests discontinued from sales, LFA detected in a new region, 7 nurseries signed on to the Plant Pono Endorsement Program, all in 5 months). Funding provided under this proposal will be used to expand nursery surveys to 24 new nurseries in 2015, to continue roadside surveys in invasive species hot-spot zones, to publish technical reports on five years of early detection work on Hawaii Island, and to improve processes for vetting the feasibility and risk of potential target species. All said, the BIISC early detection program seeks every year to raise the bar on detection of new threats and cost effectiveness of response and control.
Developing a Mapping and Management Approach for Australian Tree Fern, $30,000
Australian Tree Fern (ATF) is a high impact invasive plant known primarily from low- to mid- elevation, invasive species dominated “hot-spot” locations on the island of Hawaii. Making sound decisions about ATF management requires an understanding of the plant’s distribution, but no comprehensive island-wide or even watershed-scale distribution maps exist for this species. This project will seek to develop an aerial mapping and management tool for Australian Tree Fern on Hawaii Island.
Invasive Species Outreach on Hawaii Island, $50,000
The BIISC Education and Outreach Program is building strategies that work for a large island with a small rural population. Our goals include changing attitudes and behaviors toward invasive species management, and making use of the independent Big Island spirit to increase personal commitment and responsibility. We take a hands-on, program-wide approach to public engagement, through our community training and assistance programs, while making use of professional communications firms to develop messaging and products that effectively convey the professionalism and expertise of the BIISC program. Building on successful neighborhood models now working in Waimea, Volcano, South Kona, and Puna, BIISC will continue to empower communities to advocate for and participate in invasive species control in their own backyards. Significant outreach effort will go towards early detection surveys of Big Island nurseries and promoting Plant Pono, a program that incentives use of best management practices and halts inter-island movement of invasive species by the horticulture trade. Education on core invasive species concepts, publicity for BIISC target species, and building support for bio-control remain important pieces of our education program, as distrust and misinformation about invasive species management are still common on the Big Island.
Invasive Species Detection & Control on Hawaii Island, $650,000
The Island of Hawaii has extraordinary natural resources from mauka to makai, with 98 T/E species, more than 75% of the state’s strategic conservation lands and more than half the Agricultural Lands of Importance to the State. Invasive species pose one of the greatest threats to the long-term viability of native ecosystems, watersheds, and a thriving agricultural and horticultural trade. Following 4,000 miles of Early Detection Surveys, an updated strategic assessment, and ongoing organizational restructuring, BIISC is well-positioned to tackle nine rapid response and priority plant target species with the goal of island-wide eradication. The requested funds will be leveraged by $400,000 in federal and private funds applied for and/or awarded for FY 2015, for public education, ED/RR activities related to incipient invasive species as well as the control of previously identified targets.
See more at: dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/projects/fy15/