Endemic to the Waianae Mountains, Oahu. There are 13 current occurrences, with an estimated 300 individuals. The major threats to the species are various alien plants, feral mammals (pigs and goats), and fire.
Threats to A. sandwicense include competition from alien plant species (Christmas berry [Schinus terebinthifolius], kukui [Aleurites moluccana], kosters curse [Clidemia hirta], molasses grass [Melinus minutiflora] and huehue haole [Passiflora suberosa]),
In 2001, there were 12 populations left and 200-300 individuals of this species left (USFWS 2001). Of these 12 populations, 8 of these number fewer than 10 individuals each, and the remaining 4 populations number between 30-100 individuals each.
The seeds of A. sandwicense have been tested by the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL), indicating that they are probably orthodox (Yoshinaga 2002).
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) is monitoring and controlling alien weeds around one population of A. sandwicense in Honouliuli Preserve at Huliwai Gulch. Those 11 plants seem to be healthy, but they are threatened by human activity on an adjacent trail and also by the invasive plant, huehue haole (Passiflora suberosa).
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DOFAW), has targeted A. sandwicense to be outplanted at Pahole Nature Area Reserve (NAR). The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) has also successfully propagated A. sandwicense (USFWS 1998).
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of 277 seeds in its seed bank, derived from two of the twelve populations. In addition, three individuals from two populations are growing in the grounds of the botanical garden.
In May, 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)
1. After testing the effects of fencing, construct enclosures to protect the wild population against feral ungulates, on State, Federal, and private grounds.
2. Control competing invasive plant species within enclosures.
3. Survey areas that are likely to have other populations of A. sandwicense such as areas around Puu Pane and the Waianae Mountains.
4. Implement control methods for the coffee twig borer.
5. Protect wild populations of A. sandwicense from fire by coordinating plan to protect state natural area reserves such as Mt. Kaala, and Mokuleia NAR (Natural Area Reserve), and federal lands such as Schofield Barracks Military Reservation.
6. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of A. sandwicense.
7. Conduct pollination biology and seed dispersal studies.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1998).
1. Establish seed collections from all accessible wild populations, with seed collected from available wild founder individuals.
2. Development of proper horticultural protocols and pest management for A. sandwicense.
3. Establish an ex situ population on Oahu to support recovery activity.
4. Survey ex situ holding and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
5. Test seedlings from botanic gardens to ascertain levels of hybridization with congenerics.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.
Be the first to post an update!