Chamaesyce skottsbergii var. kalaeloana
|Ewa Plains akoko|
|(Sherff) Croizat & Deg. var. author: (Sherff) Deg. & Deg.|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The conservation of Chamaesyce skottsbergii var. kalaeloana is fully sponsored.
David Orr contributed to this Plant Profile.
Perennial, erect shrub with spindly, segmented, brittle branches and small, opposing ovate to orbicular leaves. Specimens range to 2 meters in height, but most are 0.5 to 1 meter tall. Plants are summer deciduous in their natural habitat, but retain leaves with irrigation. Copious milky white sap. Seeds are ejected by an explosive dispersal mechanism. This taxon is currently lumped with Chamaesyce skottsbergii var. skottsbergii, pending further genetic work. (Wagner et al. 1999)
Distribution & Occurrence
'Ewa Plains of Oahu, Hawaii
|There are currently about 200 plants spread over 150 acres, the site of the Barber's Point Naval facility's Northern Trap and Skeet range.
The USFWS is monitoring the plants, which are apparently declining in numbers.
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Residential & industrial development.
Proposed "clean-up", detoxification of area, meaning removal of topsoil because of lead contamination before the Navy can turn it over
A 2000 survey by Art Whistler and USFWS biologists covered the remaining 100 acres over two days in February of that year. A total of 131 dead and living 'akoko individuals were counted. 94 seedlings and juveniles were recorded along with 37 dead plants. These were hand-mapped using GPS-PLGR units.
The most recent survey was completed from May 30th to June 15th of 2001. Observers walked along transect lines 10 meters apart. Flagging located dead and live 'akoko individuals and data for each living plant was recorded including height, basal diameter, age class, reproductive status and vigor. 129 individuals were found in about 32 locations. 11 were adults over 24" and 118 were juveniles. Twenty of the 129 were flowering, and immature fruit were spotted on a few, but no propagules were collected.
On a partial walk-through of the area on November 21st, 2001, we observed many live-tagged plants which were dead, but we were able to tag about a dozen new plants. The USFWS worker reported that in mid-December, thanks to substantial winter rains, about 50 new plants were tagged, bringing the population estimate up to about 200.
USFWS. 1980. Proposed Endangered Status for the 'Ewa Plains 'akoko (Euphorbia skottsbergii var. kalaeloana). Federal Register. 45, 171: 58166-58168.
USFWS. 1982. 'Ewa Plains 'Akoko Listed as Endangered. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. VII, 9: 5, 7.
USFWS. 1982. Determination that Euphorbia skottsbergii var. kalaeloana (`Ewa Plains `Akoko) is Endangered. Federal Register. 47: 36846-36849.