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Invasive species updates from the Hawaii Invasive Species Council & partners
Volume 4, Issue 6: October/November, 2020
HISC News is a semi-monthly newsletter that provides 1) recurring updates from active response efforts, 2) announcements and programmatic updates from agencies and partners, and 3) upcoming events. This newsletter is sent to the full HISC email list, and readers can subscribe/unsubscribe at

Active response updates

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,, or
  • Little Fire Ant (LFA)

    • Photo above: Little Fire Ant colony in folds of weed matting.
    • HAWAII ISLAND: For updates, please visit our NEWLY REDESIGNED website:
    • The Hawaii Ant Lab is excited to announce the launch of our newly revamped website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation, updated with the latest information about Little Fire Ants. Visit us at Among the site’s new features is the Resources Page where you will find videos,  hands outs, and comprehensive guides on various topics including which bait is right for you, where to buy baits, and how to apply them. Visit and sign-up to our News blog for the latest updates on Hawaii Ant Lab research, upcoming events, and new bait products. We hope you like the changes, and if you have any feedback or questions about Little Fire Ants, email us at or call 808-315-5656.
    • The extension team has a lot of good events planned for 2020 to help educate the public about our new findings.
    • If you find that you or your organization has an issue with invasive ants, please feel free to contact the Hawaii Ant Lab at (808) 315-5656. We are here to assist with best management plans for any situation.
      • The Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) has continued coordinating Little Fire Ant (LFA) eradication efforts with HDOA, ISCs, CGAPS, and other agencies on Kauai, Oahu, and Maui. Though it may seem disheartening that LFA are being detected, it shows an increased awareness of this invasive species. These detections have population sizes that indicate the ants have been there for some time. This reinforces the need to test your properties for LFA at least once per year, and to test any high risk items you are bringing onto a property. Vigilance is key.
      • Little Fire Ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) are TINY! Only about 1/8" in length, but pack a sting like an ELECTRIC SHOCK! In Australia, LFA are called "Electric Ants" due to their shocking sting!
      • Additional outbreaks of Little Fire Ants have been detected on neighbor islands, some of which may be linked to the movement of personal items. As a reminder, Little Fire Ants are hitchhikers and can catch a ride on nearly anything. We can accidentally bring them with us when we travel or move to another island, so test all belongings and ensure you don’t bring this pest home with you!
  • Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB):
    • Keeping up with the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Response - and how you can get involved.
    • Are you looking for an easy way to help stop the spread of CRB in Hawaii? This month, we started a new field experiment: installing fish netting at the base of potted plants.
    • Caption: a coconut rhinoceros beetle trapped in "tekken" or fish netting. Image credit: Rick Cruz / Pacific Daily News (article)
    • This technique originated from Chamorro fishermen who used tekken netting, a small gill net, to cover their compost piles and CRB breeding sites. As adult beetles attempted to enter or exit the site, they got stuck in the three-dimensional layers of netting. In 2014, CRB responders in Guam began deploying the method as an affordable and effective way to catch CRB at their breeding sites. Check out this article and report for more information.
    • We’re trying this method because our traps in hotspot areas are still catching beetles even though nearby breeding sites have been identified and managed. We want to consider all possible options for breeding sites, no matter the size, and that includes potted plants. So far, we’ve connected with 11 volunteers in Iroquois Point and installed tekken netting on 99 potted plants. If you have a potted plant or garden area you’d like to cover, join in!
      Tekken netting isn't sold in most places in Hawai'i, but bird netting with larger eyes is available at local hardware stores. Make sure to hold the netting in place with garden stakes and report any beetles you catch. If you find a CRB adult or larva, just capture it in a glass jar, take a picture, and let us know at or 643-PEST (643-7378).

    • Caption 1: Netting is placed at the base of potted plants over exposed soil and held in place with garden stakes.
    • Caption 2: The CRB response has installed netting on potted plants at participating residences near hotspots in Iroquois Point.
    • We also have an exciting staffing update. Former CRB outreach specialist Kailee Lefebvre has transitioned into a new job as a planner with the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species. In her five years with the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Response, Kailee made impressive contributions to build awareness about CRB across Hawai’i. We wish Kailee the best in her new position! Two new outreach specialists -- Kaili Kosaka and Koki Atcheson -- joined the team. They’re building on Kailee’s outreach work and adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 by developing online outreach channels. They can be reached at (Kaili) and (Koki). For more information or pictures, please contact the CRB Response at 679-5244 or
  • Rapid Ohia Death (ROD):
    • Really exciting news! Our partners with the US Geological Survey have found that ‘ōhi‘a seedlings planted beneath Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) infected trees survive! The seedlings have been monitored for 1 year so far and all seedlings that died over the course of the study were tested for ROD and NONE came back positive for Ceratocystis. Some of the ‘ōhi‘a seedlings were planted within fences, some were outside of fences. Some had weeds pulled around them throughout the study and others did not. Dr. Stephanie Yelenik, ecologist with USGS and lead researcher for this project, said that seedlings were more likely to die if they were outside of fences and if weeds were not controlled. Check out the press release at
    • The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Diagnostic Lab in Hilo is responsible for processing all ROD samples from across the state. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, USDA ARS is currently only processing high-priority samples. If you have any ROD samples please keep them in the refrigerator and we will inform everyone once ARS lab is accepting samples again. If samples are kept in the refrigerator, they can last up to 8, possibly 12 weeks.
    • Since our last newsletter, COVID-19 restrictions have eased and the ROD field crews from across the state continue to work on 'ōhi'a conservation in a variety of ways:
    • Bi-annual helicopter surveys were conducted on all islands, with Hawai‘i Island doing quarterly surveys, to identify suspect ROD trees;
    • Suspect trees from across the state are currently being sampled;
    • The USDA lab in Hilo has re-opened and is able to process high-priority samples only at this time;
    • Baseline and monitoring surveys are being conducted of key forested plots by way of unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a. drones) on Kauai and Hawai‘i Island;
    • Research projects continue across the state looking at topics such as entomology, pathology, genetics and resistance, spatial data analysis of aerial surveys, and 'ōhi'a restoration;
    • Boot brush stations at numerous trailheads across the state continue to be installed and maintained; and
    • Sowing and growing 'ōhi'a for scientific studies and future restoration efforts!
    • Testing at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Diagnostic Lab in Hilo is responsible for processing all ROD samples from across the state. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, USDA ARS is currently only processing priority samples on a limited basis. If you have any ROD samples please keep them in the refrigerator and we will inform everyone once ARS lab is accepting samples again. If samples are kept in the refrigerator, they can last up to 8, possibly 12 weeks.
    • ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest 2020 will focus on strengthening and expanding relationships to celebrate and learn about ʻōhiʻa trees and Hawaii’s native forests. The foundation of ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest 2020 will be about coming together to grow empathy and connections. This year’s festival will continue to engage and raise awareness within our local communities about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD). We have broadened the scope in several ways this year to promote getting to know the forest people and through that, getting to know ʻōhiʻa. We are devoting special attention to reaching new audiences, including those beyond Hawaiʻi. We encourage participants to give voice to ʻōhiʻa and ʻōhiʻa forests and to expand expression of how we contribute our voices. The festival will be a place to ignite quality dialogue among parents and keiki, friends, co-workers, and welcome new participants to join in that dialogue. Our hope is to strengthen community by learning how to care for ʻōhiʻa, prevent the spread of ROD, and now take steps to restore ʻōhiʻa and what it symbolizes both in the Islands and on farther shores. 
      Date: Monday, Nov. 16 – Saturday, Nov. 21
      Duration: Weeklong event with 2 activities posts per day
      Potential Topics:
    • Ohia Varieties workshop
    • Sowing and growing ohia workshop
    • Ohia seed collecting workshop
    • How to plant a lei garden workshop
    • ROD Documentary showing
    • A Day in the Life of ROD Field Crew
    • Music
    • Hula
    • Instructional Crafting how-to's videos
    • Cultural presentation
    • Story-telling through reading a children's book
    • Art
    • 2020 Virtual ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest
      • We are still in the beginning phases of planning the 2020 Virtual ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest so if you would like to volunteer, in any capacity, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at
    • Our Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death entomology team continues to study the role of ambrosia beetles in the spread of the disease. As beetles bore into the sapwood of infected trees, they kick out frass—fine wood particles and beetle excrement—that can carry live fungal spores. This frass can get stuck to shoes, tools, and vehicles, and can also be blown by wind. On Kaua'i, little is known about the beetle communities, so USGS researchers have started studies to learn more. Their goals include: 1) To identify what beetle species exist on Kaua‘i; 2) To identify what beetle species are attacking infected and dying ‘ōhi‘a on Kaua‘i; and 3) To tease out answers to the question of how important it is to cover felled infected ‘ōhi‘a with tarps or not. Keep in mind, these beetles are super tiny—about the size of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ear on a dime—and require the use of a hand lens to find and a microscope to identify.
    • Testing at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Diagnostic Lab in Hilo is responsible for processing all ROD samples from across the state. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, USDA ARS has currently suspended all operations until further notice. If you have any ROD samples please keep them in the refrigerator and we will inform everyone once ARS lab is accepting samples again. If samples are kept in the refrigerator, they can last up to 8, possibly 12 weeks.
      • Research Update: 
        • Learn more about the ROD Seed Banking Initiative and sign up for future workshops at
      • Newsletter:  To view the current issue of the newsletter click the link as follows:
      • Please Follow & Like our Facebook Page: 
      • Please contact Ambyr Mokiao-Lee (ambyr[at] for more information.
      • The fungi (Ceratocystis lukuohia and Ceratocystis huliohia) that kill ʻōhiʻa are known as “wound pathogens”. That means in order for the tree to become infected, the tree has to have a wound – a wound that penetrates the bark. Wounds allow the microscopic fungal spores to enter a tree. Trees can be wounded in different ways – when high winds break branches, by scuffing tree roots when hiking, when blazing trails in the forest, by pruning trees in your yard. And there’s another way: when animals such as pigs, goats, cattle, or sheep peel or rub bark off trees. Studies on Hawaiʻi Island show that areas without such animals have much lower prevalence of ROD. Often, these areas are fenced to keep animals out. Data for unfenced areas show an opposite pattern. In these areas, where ungulates roam, trees get wounded and there can be a much greater prevalence of ʻōhiʻa that have died due to ROD. The two take-aways here: 1) it’s important not to wound ʻōhiʻa; and 2) it’s important to protect ʻōhiʻa from hooved animals.
        • Photo above: Rapid `Ohi`a Death informational display in baggage claim area of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu, O`ahu.
        • This document outlines efforts and progress made in understanding the disease, its pathology, and the various science-driven management activities implemented across the state for long-term health of our forests. It also provides recommendations for priority actions, complete with cost estimates.
        • The updated Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Strategic Plan has just been published and is available for reading and downloading here:

    • Sanitize for inter-island travel! Not just for coronavirus!

      Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death disease (ROD) has been detected on Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu. If you or someone you know will be traveling inter-island, please take extra care to clean your shoes and gear before and after traveling between islands to prevent the spread of ROD. First brush the dirt off, then spray with 70% rubbing alcohol. If hiking, remember to stay off of ʻōhiʻa roots –walking on roots can break bark and expose the trees to ROD-causing fungi.

    • What is the latest recommendation for what to do with infected ʻōhiʻa wood?     Keep wood onsite. Don’t turn it into mulch as that creates more material to spread disease. If felling a tree, cut with a sharpened tool on a low-wind, drizzly day to keep infectious material from moving around. Make as few cuts as possible. Wood can be safely burned in an imu, barbecue, smokehouse, or fireplace. Otherwise, keep it covered with a tarp to keep boring ambrosia beetles from attacking or escaping from the wood.
  • Recommended Actions to Prevent the Spread of ROD:
    • 1) Keep your eyes open. If you see ʻōhiʻa with a limb or crown turning brown, take a picture, and contact KISC via email ( or phone (808-821-1490). Samples of the wood must be taken by trained technicians and tested in a laboratory to confirm the presence of the ROD fungi.
    • 2) Avoid injuring ʻōhiʻa. Wounds serve as entry points for the fungus and increase the odds that the tree will become infected and die from ROD. Avoid pruning and contact with heavy equipment wherever possible.
    • 3) Clean gear and tools, including shoes and clothes, before and after entering the forest and areas where ʻōhiʻa may be present. Brush all soil off tools and gear, then spray with 70% rubbing alcohol. Wash clothes with hot water and soap.
    • 4) Wash your vehicle with a high-pressure hose or washer if you’ve been off-roading or have picked up mud from driving. Clean all soil off tires--including mountain bikes and motorcycles--and vehicle undercarriage. The disease can be spread to new areas by moving plants, plant parts, and wood from infected areas to non-infected areas.
    (All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
  • Photo above: Kalalau Valley courtesy of Nate Yuen
Program & Project Updates
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA)
  • Please visit the link above for general information.
  • Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) recently discovered on Kaua`i
  • Rapid Ohia Death (ROD)
    • ROD Reminder: Anyone on ROD-free islands with suspect trees should call their local Invasive Species Committee (see links below under University of Hawaii's Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit) so that any samples go through HDOA's Plant Quarantine Branch (PQB) and not through the regular post – More information can be found at
Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) - Please visit the link at left for general information.

Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT)
  • Mamalu Poepoe (Sphere of Protection) Project - Mamalu Poepoe is a project funded by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) for a period of 5 years. The program is being coordinated through the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) and aims at increasing surveillance of invasive species at six airport facilities on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii. The program targets Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB), Africanized honeybees (AHB), ants and mosquitoes.
  • The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is the lead agency for the work on ants, CRB and AHB and the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is the lead agency for the work on mosquitoes. Mamalu Poepoe is partnering with the Invasive Species Committees (ISC’s) and the Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) to conduct the monitoring activities. 
University of Hawaii (UH) - Please visit the link at left and the links below for general information.
  • Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS)
  • Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) 
  • Kaua`i Invasive Species Committee (KISC)
    • Please visit the link above for general information.
    • The next Kauai ROD newsletter dropped in early July. Click here to subscribe.
    • Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Discovered On Kaua`i
      • HDOA announced Kauai’s first detection of coffee berry borer (CBB) beetle on September 4, from a residential area in Kalaheo.  CBB has subsequently been identified at several other sites around Kalaheo and Lawai.  HDOA, UH-CTAHR, and KISC are collaborating on a joint response plan that includes continuous surveys, public outreach, and implementation of IPM practices.  A pest alert has been issued and a one-day workshop was hosted by CTAHR in collaboration with HDOA and KISC on October 21. The public is encouraged to report any sightings of this beetle. The KISC web site has links to more information.
    • Coqui frogs (Eleutherodactylus coqui 
    • Little Fire Ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) 
    • Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) 
  • Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC)
    • Please visit the link above for general information.
    • MISC has moved. After 16 years, MISC headquarters is no longer on the UH-CTAHR property on Piiholo Road. In accordance with the idea that “everything old is new again” our “new” baseyard is now at the Old Maui High School, MISC’s original home. The arrangement at Old Maui High School is temporary, only through next year. Our continued tenure will be based on community input.
      That being said, late September and early October consisted of a massive moving effort as crews took down the infamous yurts and moved remaining supplies and furniture. A Haiku resident had generously allowed us to use his barn and property to store citric acid and equipment during the last 10 months and the crew has now consolidated the supplies from his baseyard and the CTAHR facility at Old Maui High School.
    • Little Fire Ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) 
      • The highlight for October was detection and rapid response to the newly discovered Kaupakalua Infestation.  This 5.5 acre site was quickly delimited with a record number of vials and received its first treatment just ten days after the site was discovered.  The high level of cooperation from the site's residents and owners, the gentle layout of the properties, and the hard-working crew's extreme competence all combined to create an ideal situation in which to get the job done in record time.  The crew's accomplishment is all the more impressive given the fact that this took place the same week that we were moving into our new baseyard.  Other work this month included the final full-site treatment at the very rugged 8.5 acre Waihee Valley site, the sixth treatment of the 0.75-acre Lahainaluna site, and spot treatments at the Huelo, Happy Valley, and Kaeleku sites.  On 10/20 we said farewell to our outstanding intern Paul Moneymaker with a socially distanced pizza party on the cliff above Hookipa. 
      • In November, we'll conduct a full-site treatment of the Twin Falls Infestation.  Along with the recent treatment of the Waihee Valley site, this will bring to a close a year's worth of site-wide treatments at these two large and very challenging sites, and usher in a multi-year period of intensive monitoring to ensure the ants are truly gone.  Nahiku aerial treatments will continue, with a treatment scheduled for November 9.  We will also be conducting a full-site survey of the Kaeleku site in order to see if treatment activity there can cease,  plus a routine monitoring survey of the Kapalua site.
      • MIxing for LFA aerial spraying heliops
    • Coqui frogs (Eleutherodactylus coqui :
      • The crew have installed additional citric reservoirs in the field to increase capacity and they continue to do  control work at Jaws, Lanikai, Kauhikoa Gulch, and two new but small populations.

      • In November,  the crew will add to the existing PVC  pipeline infrastructure in gulch areas to improve access to coqui areas. They plan to increase day sprays in areas with high coqui density and work towards removing coqui in the low-density population areas. Additionally, during the daytime, crew will do additional infrastructure work at the new baseyard.

    • Community Engagement:
      The Community Coqui Control Program held its first virtual meeting with a new neighborhood getting involved in community coqui control. We had continued high participation in the Haiku Mauka neighborhood during their most recent spray week.

      • In November, we will have the first spray week for the new Ala Olu-Makaio-Akoa neighborhood. In the Lower Kokomo neighborhood, MISC is partnering with Maui Disposal to provide a green-waste bin for disposal of yard waste that may harbor coqui frogs.

    • Plant Crews:
      • In October, Mike Ade followed up on reports of suspect Rapid Ohia Death affect trees in Hanawi and Waihee. The results are not yet back.  Hana-based the Piiholo crew followed up on reports of pampas grass and controlled ivy gourd in Waihee. The miconia crew worked in the Hanawi area and cleared a trail system in the Nahiku LFA infested area for upcoming survey efforts.
    • Public Relations:  
      • October was Stop the Ant month, an annual invasive ant awareness campaign statewide. This year, we sent out  10,000 mailers (Stop The Ant Month Mailer) to randomly selected postal routes throughout Maui County, encouraging people to test for little fire ant. Our monthly Maui News column continued the Stop the Ant theme by focusing on the contribution citizen scientist make to detecting new species of ants: 
      • We also worked with the East Maui Watershed Partnership and Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project to offer two trainings as part of our Maui Mauka Conservation Awareness Training Program. Featured speakers were Jenni Learned from the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project and Keahi Bustamente with the Department of Land and Natural Resources talking about native snails. 
      • In November, we will present the 17th annual Malama i ka Aina Award to Mark Blietz, a Haiku nursery owner. He kept MISC’s field operations going by providing necessary storage space until a new baseyard could be secured.
  • Molokai-Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC)
    • Please visit the link above for general information.
    • October operations:
      • Long-thorn kiawe: In the third quarter of 2020, our crew surveyed a total of 162.55 acres on the west side of Molokai for long-thorn kiawe, controlling one mature and eight immature plants.
      • New Zealand flax: Our field crew revisited old sites to survey for new growth. In total, we surveyed 47.32 acres and are happy to report crew did not detect any new growth.
      • Rubbervine: Throughout the third quarter, our crew surveyed several locations totaling 114.4 acres and controlled 11 immature plants at an old site in September. 
      • Australian tree fern: MoMISC crew joined partners from the Department of Land and Natural Resources - Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the Molokai Plant Extinction Prevention Program for Australian tree fern control within the Molokai Forest Reserve. They surveyed a  total of 120.78 acres and controlled 7 mature, and 83 immature plants.
    • November plans: 
      • Crew will do early detection surveys for little fire ant (LFA) in central and West Molokai
      • Additional plans include working with a large landowner to conduct ground surveys of ranch lands
      • They will be surveying for quail bush in West and Central Molokai and surveying for pampas grass in areas of Central and East Molokai
  • O`ahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) 
    • Please visit the link above for general information.
    • Office staff continues to telework and the outreach team has put together on-demand informational and education webinars and downloadable activity worksheets for keiki and we now have online educational resources available for distance learning at: 
    • Early Detection While Staying Home: While we’re all doing our part to flatten the curve, this is also an excellent opportunity to do some early detection around your home and neighborhood.
    • Please report any suspect invasive species to the statewide pest hotline by calling 643-PEST or online at  You can also download the free app (643pest) for your smartphone. 
    • Little Fire Ants: While we’re home this is a great time to test your yard for little fire ants. Hawaii Department of Agriculture is still accepting mailed ant samples. Testing is easy and you can also let us know your results online. If you can send a clear photo of your ants, we can tell you if you should mail them in for identification.
                      Test for Little Fire Ant:
                      Are your ant suspect? We’ll let you know: 
    • Coqui frogs: Oahu doesn’t have widespread coqui frogs. However, they and their eggs occasionally hitchhike over from Big Island. When coqui frogs hatch they are not tadpoles, but instead fully formed frogs…this means they don’t need ponding water to survive. If you’re out for an evening or early morning walk or run around the neighborhood, stop for a few minutes to listen for coqui frogs. The easiest way is to listen for them while having a coffee early in the morning…or an even better time, while having a nightcap on the lanai. If you hear them, you can just record the sound with your video and report it to 643pest.
      Not sure what coqui frogs sound like? Click here to listen to their recording:
      Aloha and stay safe. We’re all very much looking forward to getting back into the field!
    • Miconia (Miconia calvescens) 
      • If you suspect miconia, report to OISC along with photos if possible. E: P: 808-266-7994.
    • Devil Weed (Chromolaena odorata) 
      • If you suspect devil weed, report to OISC along with photos if possible. E: P: 808-266-7994. 
    • Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) 
      • If you see ‘ōhiʻa that is dead or dying with brown leaves still attached, report to OISC along with photos if possible. E: P: 808-266-7994.
    • Naio Thrips (Klambothrips myopori) 
      • OISC is still conducting early detection surveys and removing both infested naio plants as well as landscaped naio that is not yet infested. Have a naio plant in your yard? OISC will replace it with an alternative native plant if you remove your naio BEFORE it gets infested. Our goal is to protect wild naio populations by removing landscaped naio so the thrips do not have harbors that allow them to move around the island. These wild naio plants provide important habitat for native seabirds, forest birds, bees, and other fauna. Report naio plants to OISC along with photos if possible. E: P: 808-266-7994.
  • Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships (HAWP)
HISC Support
  • 643pest.org643-PEST app, or the 643-PEST (7378) telephone hotline. 
    • 643PEST.ORG pest report facilitators communicate with every person reporting a pest, providing identification verification, educational information on the species, and any additional actions that can be taken. 
  • Full report at link: 
  • The HISC Facebook page now has over 1,247 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.
  • The HISC Brown Bag series continues! Check the link in the Upcoming Events section below for the next presentation dates & topics.

Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) program

    • All assessments can be accessed at the Plant Pono website: (
    • New Assessments: The HPWRA promotes responsible and informed planting choices by providing an objective, science-based and accurate method of assessing the invasive potential of plants being imported into and/or planted within the Hawaiian Islands. In the past two months, 16 new assessments and 1 revised assessment have been completed, bringing the current total of screened plant species to 2145. Of note were 11 new assessments for a landscape architect firm tasked with guiding future plant selections along Hawaii Island's State and County highways. The remaining assessments were completed for early detection teams, university extension agents, private consultants and members of the general public. All assessments can be accessed at the Plant Pono website: (
    • HPWRA Research Applications
      • A paper by University of Hawaii PhD candidate Kelsey Brock and UH Professor of Botany Curtis Daehler applies an invasion risk framework for categorising invasion stages to Hawai‘i’s non-native flora and identifies potential uses and complications for species tracking and invasion management. HPWRA scores were utilized in the study to predict naturalization for non-native plants of uncertain invasion status and showed promise as a supplement to field monitoring for data-deficient elements of the flora. The study also proposes a categorization system to track non-native plants which requires limited additional data collection, and which could help to identify invasion patterns in a region.
        • Brock, K. C., & Daehler, C. C. (2020). Applying an invasion and risk framework to track non-native island floras: a case study of challenges and solutions in Hawai ‘i. NeoBiota, 62, 55:

Upcoming events

Visit the HISC Website
Like HISC on Facebook
 Your HISC Support Team

Joshua Atwood, Ph.D., Acting HISC Program Supervisor: Joshua.P.Atwood[@]
Leyla Kaufman, Ph.D., Mamalu Poepoe Coordinator: leyla.v.kaufman[@]
Chelsea Arnott, M.S., HISC Planner: chelsea.l.arnott.researcher[@]
Randy Bartlett, HISC Interagency Coordinator: randal.t.bartlett[@]
Elizabeth Speith, Report Facilitator: speith[@]

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Hawaii Invasive Species Council · 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325 · Honolulu, HI 96813 · USA

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