This species has been found only in a small area in the Waimea Canyon, Kauai. Fewer than 200 plants are known to remain. The species' habitat is experiencing heavy degradation from the activities of feral goats and pigs. Alien plants are also a threat.
Threats to H. distans include feral goats, alien plants such as Lantana camara (lantana), human disturbance, natural occurring events such as fires and hurricanes, insect pests such as the exotic pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), and potentially g
Number of Populations: 1 recorded in 2002
Number of Plants: 30 recorded in 2002 (K. Wood, pers. comm. 2002)
Seeds of H. distans have been tested by the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL), and the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), finding that they are orthodox and can tolerate freezing and drying. The laboratory germination time was two months (Yoshinaga 2002).
Seeds of H. distans are easily propagated if the seeds are available and undamaged. The USFWS has also conducted research on the pollinators of H. distans, finding that they may be capable of self-pollination. However, cross-pollination may be important for maintaining the species long term genetic variability (USFWS 1996).
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of seeds in its seed bank, there are 11 plants in the nursery and 48 individuals in the botanical garden. The 11 individuals represent the single population. The seeds and 48 plants in the botanical garden represent a population that was lost, in addition to the remaining population.
1. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of H. distans.
2. Test the influence of weeding and fencing on populations of H. distans.
3. Conduct pollination biology and seed dispersal studies on H. distans.
4. Secure wild populations through on-site management.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, and M. Maunder.
1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for H. distans.
3. Survey ex situ holdings and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.
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