This species was rediscovered in the early 1990's after not being seen since the 1800's. It was rediscovered at a location in North Kona on the island of Hawaii. Historically, the species was also found on the islands of Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Lanai. The currently known plants number about 60 or 70, and are very localized in an area that is being developed for housing. Other threats include fire and alien plants.
Threats to I. pyrifolium include:
the conversion of this species natural habitat to residential and recreational developments
the presence of the invasive fountain grass, Pennisetum setaceum
competition from other alien plants such as Leucaena leuco
Number of Populations: 1 (USFWS 2001)
Number of Plants: 15 (USFWS 2001)
The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) has propagated I. pyrifolium. The Lyon Arboretum has attempted to grow I. pyrifolium from immature seed but has not had success. Since the development of subdivisions is threatening I. pyrifolium, there are plans to fence the remaining individuals (USFWS 1996).
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of 19 seeds in its seed bank, which are F1 seeds (progeny from cultivated stock in NTBG living collections, open pollinated but no congeners to hybridize with) from the single population. In addition, there are some plants growing in the nursery and four plants in grounds of the botanical garden derived from the single population.
In 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)
1. Fence and manage the remaining population.
2. Propagation and maintenance of ex situ genetic stock is needed.
3. Control the fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) and koa haole (Leucaena leucocephala) around the wild population of I. pyrifolium.
4. Propagation and outplanting of ex situ plants will be needed in order to establish a sufficient number of populations and plants for recovery.
5. Efforts should be made to re-establish populations on Oahu and Maui.
6. Map the genetic diversity in the surviving populations of I. pyrifolium.
7. Conduct pollination biology and reproductive studies on I. pyrifolium.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1996).
1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for I. pyrifolium.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.
Be the first to post an update!