HISC agencies and partners address a large number of invasive species issues across the state. Below are brief status updates for a few priority response efforts. For information on other invasive species projects, visit hisc.hawaii.gov, hdoa.hawaii.gov, or dlnr.hawaii.gov. The full text version of this newsletter, including updates that do not fit in this email, is available on the HISC Newsletter webpage.
Little Fire Ant (LFA): Hawaiʻi Ant Lab (HAL)
October is Spot the Ant, Stop the Ant Month in Hawaii. We are asking all Hawaii residents to check their property for ants, as an early detection tool for Little Fire Ants (LFA), as well as newly introduced ant species. For more information, visit: http://stoptheant.org/ You can request a free test kit!
The Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) on Oahu has been busy this quarter. While we have received only one report of a new infestation on Oahu, we have been actively treating and monitoring a total of 23 sites! Assessment surveys at many of our sites have shown very promising results-after only six months of treatment, several locations (Lanikai, Maunawili, Kailua, Kaneohe 2 and Aina Haina) have detected only very low and spotty populations of ants. Assessment of some of our active treatment sites (Sunset Beach and Pauoa) have detected no ants at all. Biannual surveys at our four monitoring sites have revealed no ants. Our continued effort would not be successful without our partnerships in the communities where we work. Thank you to the concerned residents, farmers and business owners for sending in your samples!
On Hawaii Island, with collaborative efforts from CTAHR, USDA, BIISC and HAL, we completed our first application of HAL Gel Bait with Tango at CTAHR, Waikea Station, Hilo. BIISC flagged out LFA infested areas with a 60' buffer-zone from the outermost positive LFA point, then CTAHR, USDA and HAL staff stormed through and applied HAL Gel Bait with Tango. On 21 September 2021, 16 gallons of Gel Bait was applied on 12 acres. These "Hot Spots" are scattered throughout 200+ acres! In open grass areas, 4 gallon Jacto 400HD backpack sprayers were used and in dense jungle areas, handheld Zep bottles did the trick. Special thanks to Melody, Dayle, Angel, Elton, Barret, Susan and Jade for your efforts!
HAL Kona, along with the assistance of National Park and Kohanaiki resort staff, has recently completed its Phase 3 treatments of Kaloko- Honokohau National Park. Phase ending survey of the original 14 acre infestation was also done and results are looking great. Previous midpoint survey revealed little fire ants in only half an acre total. In addition, an emergency response treatment for LFA in Kona Airports public parking lot was conducted successfully. With community site visits ranging from Paauilo Mauka to Captain Cook, HAL Kona has had a very busy and productive 3rd quarter.
The HAL research team has been hard at work writing the results of the original LFA eradication in Kalihiwai on Kauai. The manuscript has been submitted for journal review and summarized all eradication efforts between 2011 to 2020 and the results to date. This was a collaborative effort between the Hawaii Ant Lab, Kauai Invasive Species Committee, and Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Two additional publications are in progress. One details the results from 2020 laboratory experiments focusing on the efficacy of Spinosad in various bait formulations and the other is a comprehensive literature review for Wasmannia auropunctata.
To keep up to date on Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) happenings, you can sign-up to receive our blog via email here: https://littlefireants.com/news/ Our latest blog post is on LFA Risk Reduction for Mobile Apiaries.
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB):
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle detections increased in summer 2021, and July 2021 was a record-setting month for CRB trap detections. Although breeding populations have not been detected on the North Shore or Windward side of Oʻahu, outlying detections on the West side and spread into central Oʻahu are of concern. Additional trap installation and breeding site surveys have been completed in these areas.
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Trap Detections Map- April-Sept 2021
This summer, we coordinated palm treatments in Upper Pearl City Peninsula, an area that has been a consistent hotspot for CRB. We expect to see maximum treatment results in 7-9 months, after the chemical travels to the palm crown and adult CRB have emerged from nearby active breeding sites to feed on the treated palms. This treatment works best when applied to palms at a landscape scale so stakeholder engagement and buy-in were required before deployment. We’re continuing to monitor results of palm treatments in Pearl City Peninsula. However, based on promising results of reduced CRB detections following palm treatments in other areas, we hope to use this treatment in new locations.
Visit our website to learn more about the CRB Response team’s recent work, including updates from CRB researchers. You’ll find links to presentations from Dr. Michael Melzer, Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng, and PhD student Mohsen Paryavi first shown at the Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference!
Rapid ʻŌhia Death (ROD): ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest November 3-6, 2021
Ryan Perroy and others- Spatial patterns of ‘Ōhi‘a mortality associated with Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death and ungulate presence. Forests 2021,12, 1035.
The current work being conducted by Dr. Ryan Perroy and colleagues and the Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab (SDAV) at UH Hilo uses drones and helicopter-mounted cameras to remotely detect Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) in the field and to better understand the difference in disease frequency between fenced and unfenced forests on Hawai‘i Island. The authors note that "Suspected ROD tree densities in neighboring areas containing ungulates were two to 69 times greater than those found in ungulate-free zones." They further state that "The spatial patterns of ‘Ōhi‘a mortality observed across all four sites included in this study showed significant differences in areas with and without ungulates, suggesting that ungulate exclusion is an effective management tool to lessen the impacts in ROD in forested areas in Hawai‘i.
Robert Peck and colleagues: USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Robert Peck, a researcher with the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, and colleagues are finding that spores of Ceratocystis, the fungus that causes ROD, can still be viable in trees that have been dead for up to five years. The percentage of diseased trees that still have viable fungus declines year by year, though, and few trees are expected to still have viable fungus after about five years. Even if trees have been dead for a couple of years, it is still a good idea not to move the wood. The wood can be used for firewood in an imu, wood stove, or a hibachi, but a burn permit is necessary to burn brush piles on the land. Ambrosia beetles attack newly killed trees and create sawdust that can spread ROD, and beetles can still be active in trees for at least four years, although most will be in freshly killed trees.
Management Tips- HOW CAN YOU HELP SAVE ʻŌHIʻA?
The Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) Outreach Education Team would like to share some useful tips to help save ʻŌhiʻa, reduce the spread of ROD, and protect ʻŌhiʻa forests.
Q - The ROD-infected ʻŌhiʻa tree has been cut down – now what do I do?
A - If you are fairly certain that the tree is infected and dead, then we recommend having the tree felled by a qualified arborist. We recommend having a qualified arborist fell the tree on a still day to minimize blown sawdust. You may use the wood as fuel for an imu, fireplace, smokehouse or barbecue on site but you may not dispose of it in an open brush fire unless you get a burn permit from the Department of Health. You can also cut the tree up and cover it with a tarp, cloth or weed mat to contain any dust or frass created by boring beetles. The fungus can live in the wood for at least four years.
Program & Project Updates
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR)
The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Field Team worked with NOAA and USFW to resurvey the M/V Cape Flattery grounding site. Teams worked to document coral regrowth in the damaged areas, as well as baseline surrounding areas. The M/V Cape Flattery grounded in coral reef habitat off Barbers Point (Kalaeloa), Oahu on February 2, 2005. More about this grounding here: https://darrp.noaa.gov/ship-groundings/mv-cape-flattery.
Original urchin out planting targets have been met for the Waikiki MLCD. Bi-annual surveys are scheduled for November and the team will continue to monitor the area for the next 5 years.
DAR’s AIS field team provided continued vessel and diver support to a pilot Avrainvillea erecta control study led by Liv Wheeler, a UH student in Dr. Celia Smith’s lab. This pilot project aims to study possible treatment options for Avrainvillea erecta, an invasive algae first discovered in Hawaii in 2014.
Sea Urchin Surveys
The DAR AIS field team, in collaboration with the DAR coral restoration team, worked with DAR biologists on Kauai to remove invasive corals on the northern shore. The AIS field team hired a new Habitat and Fish Monitoring Coordinator specializing in invasive algae projects The AIS field team and the Ballast Water and Biofouling conducted a hull inspection on a vessel intending to go to the NWHI to document signs of biofouling that could be transferred on the voyage.
Biofouling is the accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, or small animals on surfaces of ship and submarine hulls, devices such as water inlets, pipework, grates, ponds, and rivers that cause degradation and movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS)
The AIS field team investigated and photographed two unexploded ordinances (UXOs) that had been located in Kāneʻohe Bay to collect baseline data of the benthic community before they were removed. After the removal, the team went back to document the area by taking data and photos. Orthoimagery was used to take pictures before removal. Orthoimagery utilizes software to stitch together hundreds of close-up benthic photos to make one high-resolution final photo.
Unexploded Ordinance in Kāneʻohe Bay
Two new placements have started through the Kupu Conservation Leadership Development Program. One has joined the Ballast Water and Biofouling (BWBF) team for a second year-long term supporting current projects and developing an independent research project based around ballast water risk assessment. The second will be joining the AIS field team to assist with monitoring, outreach, and remediation of invasive species.
The BWBF Coordinator and Planner participated in 10 VIDA State Engagement discussions with representatives from the EPA, US Coast Guard, and multiple coastal states. The BWBF Planner collaborated with other Pacific states to determine the next steps for working with the EPA on VIDA implementation. The BWBF Coordinator presented on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease at the CGAPS quarterly meeting. The BWBF Planner will be working with stakeholders through the USCRTF Coral Disease Working Group on planning a SCTLD biosecurity regulation workshop and developing outreach materials.
University of Hawaii (UH), Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)
Reports of devil weed have been pouring in, thanks to social media posts and news coverage. Most are look-alike species, but BIISC has received several confirmed reports from the public. There are now seven known locations in a 450-acre area. BIISC is looking into bulldozing the initial C. odorata site at the Hilo Dragstrip area. And with funding from Hawaii county, BIISC will use detector dogs to find new locations.
Between camping trips at Hakalau, controlling Holly and Photinia, the field crew continues to work diligently on all BIISC eradication targets: Cotoneaster pannosus, Cryptostegia madagascariensis, and Buddleja madagascariensis are steadily reaching zero adult detections! The BIISC Steering Committee also approved three new target species for eradication: Lonicera hildebrandiana (Giant Burmese Honeysuckle), Heteropterys brachiata (Red Wing), and Leea indica (Bandicoot Berry).
Twylah Morelli during a camping trip at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, where she controls invasive species.
We are proud of Nate Friday for obtaining his drone pilot’s license! We are also excited to welcome Kaiʻa Andaya and Kahua Julian to the team and to celebrate Twylah Morelli for completing her first year as a BIISCuit.
Nate Friday is officially a licensed drone pilot!
A good news story for 2021: four of our “No Grow” plants - Australian tree fern, New Zealand flax, Mexican fan palm, and African Tulip - have been successfully phased out of nursery sales on the Big Island! Our criteria for reaching this milestone is that the plant must not have been found in any of our nursery surveys for a minimum of 3 years running. Currently, we are working with industry stakeholders to evaluate new invasives found recently in nursery surveys, and up to five new plants will be adopted as No Grow species.
In October, Franny Brewer will present ‘Social psychology in conservation behavior’ at the UH Hilo TCBES seminar series. Also, Covid restrictions permitting, Molly Murphy will co-host a Plant Pono information session. And, BIISC.org will have a new look soon!
University of Hawaii (UH), Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC)
Little Fire Ants (LFA)
No new infestations were discovered this quarter, allowing the crew to focus their attention on ongoing treatments at five infestations. The crew did discover a two acre “breach” at one of our sites. We are working to get this new area delimited in order to begin treatments.
A second “blitz” survey was performed at the 175-acre Nāhiku infestation in order to continue evaluating the effectiveness of the aerial treatments that took place there from October 2019 to May 2021. Twenty staff participated, placing nearly 1,400 vials over 3 days in rugged habitat – and not a single LFA was detected.
See the following for more information: https://stoptheant.org/ and https://mauiinvasive.org/little-fire-ant/
MISC’s coqui control field crew worked more than 1100 hours working across 74 different properties applying more than 74,000 gallons of citric acid. They also mixed nearly 10,000 gallons of citric acid solution in support of the coqui community control program.
With the assistance of community reports, two new coqui populations (five or more calling males) were discovered upcountry before the frogs were able to greatly expand in number. Crew treatments have reduced these two small populations to zero calling males. Community resident reporters will alert MISC to any additional coqui. These new populations bring our current total to 22 eradications and 11 active populations.
For more information: https://mauiinvasive.org/coqui-frog/
Community Coqui Control Program
Six community spray weeks and ten community spray nights were held with participants contributing at least 175.4 hours of effort, spraying 12,612 gallons of 14% citric acid solution for coqui control. This is an increase in hours sprayed and gallons of citric acid solution applied since the second quarter.
MISC staff continued to work with partners at Hawai’i Department of Agriculture to assist two Maui nurseries who have coqui on their properties. Seven hundred pounds of powdered citric acid were delivered to these two nurseries for their coqui control efforts.
Haʻikū residents after a day of spraying citric acid for coqui control in their neighborhood
Learn more about MISC’s coqui control efforts through the second issue of the Coqui News Pipeline newsletter! For more information: https://mauiinvasive.org/community-coqui-control-program/
Hāna Miconia Crew: The Hāna Miconia Crew continued to respond to and survey public Miconia reports at Lower Nāhiku and Hāna. They conducted Hāna Highway buffer survey/control and trail cutting from Makapīpī to Keʻanae.
Hāmākuapoko Plant Crew: The crew conducted pampas grass ground survey/control at Waikamoi Flume, Haleakalā Ranch and Polipoli areas. Ivy gourd survey and control in Central and West Maui coastal strand and golf course areas are on regular re-visit intervals.
Pampas grass growing in a East Maui forest
Rapid ʻŌhia Death Response: Three Maui residential area ʻōhiʻa site visits by Plant Crew Coordinator. No ROD symptoms at each site.
For more information on MISC Invasive Plant targets: https://mauiinvasive.org/misc-target-pests/
Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC)
Active Coconut Rhinocerous Beetle (CRB) traps are located at the Molokai Airport and are monitored and maintained on a monthly basis by the MoMISC field crew in partnership with the Mamalu Poepoe Project. To date CRB has not been detected on Molokai.
Little fire ant early detection bait traps were set at eight different survey sites, with zero detections to report. MoMISC crew conducted early detection roadside surveys for miconia and surveyed 1273.07 acres with no detections.
MoMISC hosted a virtual committee meeting, attended by representatives from partner agencies and organizations. MoMISC staff provided year to date updates on their invasive species work on Molokai and all attendees were invited to provide feedback and updates of their own work. It was great to be able to catch up and plan with our partners and hear of all the good work they’ve been doing throughout the pandemic.
See the following for more information: https://www.molokaiisc.org/
Among the activities of the MISC Early Detection team last quarter was following up on a report of a Yellow-billed Cardinal in Waiheʻe Refuge by a member of the public on eBird. The Early Detection crew visited the site, and encountered similar looking Red-crested Cardinals, but no Yellow-billed Cardinals. The crew will continue to monitor eBird for additional Yellow-billed Cardinal reports, of which there have been no re-sights, and re-check the area during six month naio thrip surveys. Help with early detection by reporting sightings of new non-native birds they encounter to eBird or 643-PEST.
MISC and conservation alliance partners have had success in continuing to find more locations where Rose Ringed Parakeets are visiting thanks to reporting by the Maui community through 643PEST.org. The birds continue to be seen in the upper West Maui area at various sites throughout Nāpili and Kapalua with estimated numbers at less than 10.
Three articles for the Maui New’s Kiaʻi Moku column featured coffee leaf rust, rose-ringed parakeets, and Vernonathura polyanthes. Kiaʻi Moku articles can be found online. Several media initiatives on rose-ringed parakeet were featured in Civil Beat, Maui Time, Maui News, Hawaiʻi News Now, and Maui Now to bring attention to this new invasive Maui pest.
MISC presentations remain virtual due to covid-19 safety measures. MISC had two presentations and held virtual outreach at the online Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference. MISC outreach also held several LFA presentations to Seabury Hall high school students.
University of Hawaii (UH), O`ahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC)
OISC has worked across 41 watersheds surveying for, and removing our target invasive species from the landscape.
Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death: To date 372 trees have been samples for ROD on Oʻahu. There have been 8 positive detections of the less aggressive species C. Huliohia. There have be no detections of the aggressive ROD C. Lukuohia, which currently has only been detected on Hawaiʻi Island and Maui. Suspect ʻōhiʻa trees will be dead or dying with brown leaves still attached. Report suspect ʻōhiʻa trees to www.643pest.org or email photos to OISC: email@example.com
Early Detection - Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) & Africanized Honey Bees: During this reporting period, OISC has contributed 392 hours assisting the Māmalu Poepoe Project with trap checks for CRB and monitoring for swarm traps for Africanized honeybees at the Honolulu International Airport. OISC conducts monthly trap checks for both CRB and Africanized honeybees. During active bee season (May-Sept.), crew conduct swarm traps every two weeks. For more information about the Māmalu Poepoe Project, visit: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/mp/
Early Detection – Little Fire Ant (LFA): OISC has been assisting the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab with nursery surveys. These surveys are important to ensure LFA are not present, and if they are detected a rapid response can be implemented to eradicate populations. All Oʻahu residents are advised to collect and submit ant samples for identification and report suspect ants. For more information about reporting, submitting ant samples, REQUEST A FREE ANT COLLECTION KIT: http://stoptheant.org
Volunteer Programs – Devil Weed Crew: In March 2021, OISC implemented a self-directed volunteer program to conduct early detection surveys of Oʻahu trails for invasive devil weed (Chromolaena odorata). The goal of the program is to remove devil weed from high trafficked trails to prevent more long-range introduction, both on island and across the state. Special shout-out to Conservation Dogs of Hawaii for their dedication to early detection and trails removal!
From July – Sep:
- Dedicated 45 hours of surveying
- 66 miles of trails surveyed
- 7 trails across the island.
- Removed 403 devil weed plants (307 immature, 6 mature).
Like to hike? Join the Devil Weed Crew! Volunteer on YOUR time, while doing what you love. Visit: https://www.oahuisc.org/volunteer/devil-weed-crew/
University of Hawaii (UH), Kaua`i Invasive Species Committee (KISC)
NEW INFESTATION OF LITTLE FIRE ANTS ON KAUA‘I
A new detection of Little Fire Ants (LFA) has been found on Kaua‘i in the Moloa‘a area. In July 2021, a concerned farmer submitted suspected LFA samples to the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee (KISC).KISC forwarded the samples to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) for confirmation. KISC and HDOA teams are currently conducting delimiting surveys to determine the size of the infestation. This new infestation is the largest known infestation on Kaua‘i with LFA confirmed in over 13 acres. The treatment area is estimated to exceed that.
On October 6th 2021, KISC partnered with HDOA, Hawaii Ant Lab and CTAHR to provide an in depth webinar about the latest infestation of LFA on Kauaʻi. If you missed this webinar, it is now available on the KISC Youtube linked below.
LFA on Kauaʻi webinar: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zeQ-RS-9Gd7sbjLjVYGjQ
It’s spooky season at KISC
This month KISC will be releasing mock invasive monster movie posters. Some sinister creatures already released are Miconia Man, and the Mangrove Mud Monster in partnership with Mālama Hulēia. Stay tuned and follow KISC on Instagram and Facebook to see what monsters have yet to come forth.
KISC Instagram and Facebook
KISC Field Updates
Miconia Numbers for reporting period 7/1/2021 - 9/13/2021
Total Miconia Acres surveyed: 1,107.248 Acres / Total Miconia Treated: 207 Immature 0 Mature
Miconia Ground surveyed: 58.201 Acres / Total Miconia Treated: 207 Immature 0 Mature
Aerial surveyed: 1,049.047 Acres / Total Miconia Located: 16 Immature and 4 Mature
Other Noteworthy Events in this time period
1 New Kudzu Population on the North Shore found and initial treatment has begun.
KISC ROD Updates: Forest Friday Talk Story
In early October, KISC partnered with the Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project to produce the sixth Forest Friday Talk Story event. Its theme was “Whatʻs the Fate of the Forests of Kauaʻi?” This talk story included four panelists: Seana Walsh (NTBG), Lucas Behnke (TNC), Michelle Clark (USFWS) and Mehana Vaughan (UH Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management). All six episodes can be found and viewed here.)
A special “Ghouls of the Forest” talk story event will be held Friday, October 29, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. This is a virtual event and registration (here) is required. To learn about more Forest Friday events, sign up for the Kauai ʻŌhiʻa newsletter here.
ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest
KISC is participating in this statewide event scheduled for November 3 - 6, 2021. Find out more about this virtual event and register for live Zoom workshops here.
ROD Field Update
HISC Support, Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) program
New Assessments: The HPWRA promotes responsible and informed planting choices by
providing an objective, science-based method of assessing the invasive potential of plants being
imported into and/or planted within the Hawaiian Islands. In the third quarter of 2021, fourteen
new assessments and six revised assessments have been completed, bringing the current total
of screened plant species to 2191. Of note were 2 new assessments completed for use in a US
Fish & Wildlife Service proposal for funding of weed control efforts on Nihoa, Northwestern
Hawaiian Islands. Other assessments were completed for ISC early detection teams, the Plant
Pono program, the USDA-NRCS state forester, the Center for Maunakea Stewardship and for a
private consultant. All assessments can be accessed at the Plant Pono website.
HISC Support, 643pest.org statewide pest reporting
There have been 439 reports submitted to 643pest.org from January - September 2021. A noticeable increase in reports occurred in August when news stories about the Maui search for rose-ringed parakeet were airing. 48% of all resolved reports (reports where the reported organism can be identified) so far this year are for widespread and/or unactionable species.
87 unique species were identified by 643pest.org report facilitators with help from taxonomic specialists from multiple agencies and groups.
Reports from the public are overwhelmingly for animals (vertebrates) and insects (invertebrates).
The top 5 species reported by island are -
- Hawaiʻi Island: Jackson's chameleon, coqui, little fire ant, mongoose, lantana longhorn beetle
- Maui: coqui, rosy-faced lovebird, Jackson’s chameleon, rose-ringed parakeet, and mongoose
- Molokaʻi: mongoose, fireweed, and cane toad
- Oʻahu: Rose-Ringed Parakeet, Oriental Flower Beetle, greenhouse frog, Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, Jackson’s chameleon
- Kauaʻi: Rose-Ringed Parakeet, mongoose (note: responding agency did not confirm ID after report forwarded), rabbit, greenhouse frog, feral pic
Questions? Interested in a 643pest.org presentation or participating in statewide pest reporting? Want to direct pest reporting of your target species to 643pest.org? Contact Elizabeth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HISC Support Socials
The HISC Facebook page now has over 1,434 followers. Please Like & Follow HISC on Facebook to receive updates from HISC news, posts from our website, and invasive species-related posts from our constituent agencies and partners. Help us raise our algorithm and presence!
Missed a HISC Council meeting, Brown Bag talk, or HISAM presentation? Subscribe to the HISC Support YouTube so you never miss another one.
Spot the Ant, Stop the Ant month: October is spot the ant month in Hawaii. For more information and results of the statewide ant bioblitz seeking to identify which ants are on which islands, go to stoptheant.org/
ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest is November 3-6, 2021. Find out more: http://www.bit.ly/ohialove