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Invasive species updates from the Hawaii Invasive Species Council & partners
Volume 1, Issue 1: November, 2016
Special announcement: HISC News is all new! We're launching HISC News as a semi-monthly newsletter comprised of three components: 1) regular updates from active response efforts, 2) 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)
    • Since the initial discovery in 1999,LFA have become established on the four most populous Hawaiian Islands (Hawai‘i, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai).
    • On the Island of Hawai’i, new infestations continued to be detected beyond the original Kalapana-Laupahoehoe area and now include spot locations in most of the west side, Waipio Valley, Hawi, Kapa`au, Holualoa, Naalehu, Captain Cook and Waimea.
    • On Maui, there are three sites being treated: Waihe‘e, Huelo, and Nahiku. Activities at the Huelo site were hampered by the refusal of one resident to allow treatment staff access. This resulted in the HDOA taking the unusual step of obtaining a court order.
    • On Oahu, infestations were treated on agricultural land in Waimanalo and another in a suburban area of Mililani and were putatively free of LFA, until recently when LFA were detected again in Waimanalo.
    • On Kauai, the Kalihiwai site is putatively free of LFA with only a single known active colony detected beneath a taller tree.
    • Monitoring and treatments will continue on Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, where necessary.
  • Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB):
    • Since the first Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle was detected in late December of 2013, over 3,200 trap captures have been recorded and just over 3000 panel traps are installed and being monitored biweekly on Oahu.
    • The core of the CRB infestation on Oahu remains on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), but recent trap captures of CRB have been recorded in the Ewa and Pearl City Peninsula areas surrounding JBPHH. The HDOA CRB Response Program continues to work closely with US Department of Defense officials on JBPHH and with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office in Honolulu to eradicate CRB on Oahu before they spread to Neighbor Islands or the US Mainland.
  • Rapid Ohia Death (ROD):
    • The Ohia Love seed collection campaign has resulted in over one million seeds from three islands (Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai) banked by members of the Hawaii Seed Bank Partnership, in addition to a million seeds previously banked at the University of Hawaii’s Lyon Arboretum.
Program & Project Updates
Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA):
  • Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan (HIBP): Statewide public meetings to gather input on the draft plan were completed in October. The project team is working to incorporate input from oral and written comments and release a final plan by the end of the year. The final plan will include timeline targets for implementation, prioritization of the most critical components of improving our biosecurity system, and cost estimates. The project team will work with individual agencies and legislators on exploring opportunities to begin making progress on the HIBP in the 2017 legislative session. Further progress on the plan, including the release of the final version, can be found at:
Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL):
  • The Hawai’i Ant Lab has partnered with organizations statewide to manage one of the world’s top 100 most invasive species, Little Fire Ant (LFA).
  • October was Stop the Ant Month for our State, but every month on Hawai’i Island remains a battle for residents and farmers. The Hawai’i Ant Lab  will continue to provide residents and farmers with best management practices, arming them with knowledge in the battle against LFA. There was a panel discussion held by the Governors Liaison for West Hawai’i on October 27 where participants could learn more about preventing the spread and how to manage LFA. The Hawai’i Ant Lab would like to thank those organizations statewide who help stop Little Fire Ants!
Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC):
  • On Maui, all known populations of the little fire ant (LFA) are under control again, thanks to the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and their willingness to step forward and obtain a warrant for control. For only the second time, and for the first time in 16 years, the HDOA took legal action to access private property to control invasive species. HDOA obtained a warrant to access an area infested with LFA after tenants blocked the MISC and the Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) from treating for little fire ants.
HISC Support:
  • The HISC Support team is becoming more social, as we’ve recently turned our attention to ways to improve our coordination among partners and stakeholders. In addition to this newsletter, HISC now has a Facebook page for sharing HISC news, posts from our website, and invasives-related posts from our constituent agencies.
  • We’ve launched the HISC Brownbag Series, which is a web-based forum for stakeholders to join together virtually during the lunch hour and hear about their partners' work. We’re also launching a set of coordination tools in the upcoming year including a rapid Interagency Notification System for quickly alerting partners to new detections, and implementing as an online complement to the telephone hotline (643-PEST) for public pest reports.
  • Finally, for HISC-funded projects we’re transitioning this year to spatial data reporting, which will allow us to more effectively demonstrate the impact that HISC-funded projects have on invasive species across Hawaii. We have a lot in store for 2017 and hope that the end result is a better connection among invasive species practitioners and stakeholders.

Upcoming events

  • A Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) Summit will be held from 9-3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at the State Capitol Auditorium in Honolulu.  The Honorable Governor David Ige will convene the Summit, which is divided into two sections. The morning will feature an information briefing on Rapid Ohia Death by the lead research and outreach specialists followed by a presentation of the new ROD Strategic Response Plan, and, an opportunity to ask questions of the panel. The afternoon will feature three concurrent breakout groups for in-depth discussions in the areas of research, rapid response, and funding.
  • This Summit is open to the public. For planning purposes, please RSVP at so that the summit sponsor, the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS) can plan for lunch (graciously supported by the Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation).  For those unable to attend, the morning session will be live-streamed by Olelo Community Television for remote participation online at Olelo 49:
  • For questions, please contact Summit coordinators; Christy Martin (CGAPS) at (808) 722-0995 or christym<at>, or Rob Hauff (DLNR) at (808) 587-4174 or Robert.d.hauff<at>
Visit the HISC Website
Like HISC on Facebook
 Your HISC Support Team:

Joshua Atwood, HISC Program Supervisor: 808.587.4154  or Joshua.P.Atwood<at>
Randy Bartlett, HISC Interagency Coordinator: 808.870.6443 or Randal.T.Bartlett<at>
John-Carl Watson, HISC Planner: 808.341.3042 or JohnCarl.R.Watson<at>

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

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