|Cooke kokio, Cooke's kokio, hau Hele'ula, Hawaiian tree cotton, koki'o, Molokai koki'o, Molokai red cotton|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The conservation of Kokia cookei is fully sponsored.
David Orr contributed to this Plant Profile.
Kokia cookei is considered one of the rarest and most endangered plant species in the world. It was discovered in the 1860's on the western end of Moloka`i by Mr. R. Meyer. This find consisted of 3 tress, which were not relocated on subsequent visits a few years later. In 1910, a single living tree was discovered within the general area of the initial sighting and may in fact, have been one of the original trees. In 1915, this last remaining wild specimen was found in extremely poor condition though a few seeds were found and collected. Kokia cookei became extirpated from the wild in 1918. Seeds from this collection produced only one seedling that survived past 1933. This one remaining seedling was planted at a Kauluwai residence on Moloka`i, and produced over 130 seedlings though none of these plants have persisted. In the late 1950's, the single plant at Kauluwai, Moloka`i died and it was presumed extinct.
In 1970, a single plant of the species was discovered at the Moloka`i residence, probably a surviving relict of the previous cultivated plant. But in 1978, a fire destroyed the last remaining rooted plant of Kokia cookei. Fortunately, before it was destroyed, a branch was removed and later grafted onto a related species at the Waimea Arboretum. Currently, Kokia cookei exists as approximately 23 grafted plants.
Distribution & Occurrence
The only historic habitat is dryland forest on the western (leeward) end of Molokai near Mahana, northeast of Puu Nana at approximately 200 meters (660 feet) elevation (Wagner et al. 1999) and (USFWS 1998).
|Kokia cookei is extinct in the wild. Currently, the species exists as 23 grafted plants in 5 different locations on the islands of Maui, Molokai, Hawaii and Oahu. Seven individuals are in cultivation in facilities on the islands of Maui and O`ahu. One individual is located at a private residence on the island of Hawai`i. The remaining 15 individuals are in small outplanting sites on Moloka`i Ranch lands, at Puu Nana (USFWS 1998) and (Woolliams and Gerum 1992).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Heavy grazing from goats, deer, sheep and cattle
Habitat conversion as a result of agricultural practices
Low number of individuals and populations
Lack of naturally rooted plants
Lack of viable seed production
Monitoring and field work on existing outplanting sites
Mitigate or eliminate all threats
Propagation-increase the number of individuals
Establish and manage ex situ plantings in botanical gardens.
James, H.F.; Olson, S.L. 1991. Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Washington, D.C.: Ornithological Monographs No. 46. the American Ornithologists Union.