Endemic to Molokai, Maui, and possibly Lanai. The 5 current occurrences are found over an 11 km stretch along East Molokai's northern coastline and on Huelo Islet, with fewer than 200 plants remaining. Deer, goats, and alien plants are the most serious threats to the species.
Threats to B. rockii include the by competition of alien plants, habitat degradation and predation by deer and goats. Low reproductive rates could be due to a number of factors such as, low pollen production, low establishment of seedlings and also a decl
Number of populations: 5 (USFWS 2001)
Number of plants: <100 (USFWS 2001, K.R. Wood Pers. Comm. 2002)
B. rockii has been successfully hand pollinated and propagated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) (USFWS 1996). In February 2002, Ken Wood, of NTBG, hand pollinated cultivated stock with wild collected pollen (M. Maunder, pers. comm. 2002).
There are three preserves operated by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) on the island of Molokai; Kamakou, Moomomi, and Pelekunu. TNCH has also employed snaring control and has also worked with state and local hunters to control feral pigs.
Seeds and plants of B. rockii have been collected by NTBG (USFWS 1996). NTBG is also propagating and researching the feasibility of long-term seed storage (M. Maunder, pers. comm. 2002).
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of numerous seeds in its seed bank, which represents two out of the five populations. There are also some plants growing in the nursery and 14 plants growing in the grounds of the botanical garden which also represents two out of the five populations.
In April, 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)
1. Implement a recovery plan for B. rockii.
2. A research program is recommended to study the growth and reproduction viability, determine the parameters of viable populations, study the reproductive strategy and pollinators, and study pests and possible diseases of B. rockii.
3. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of B. rockii.
4. Test the influence of weeding and fencing on populations of B. rockii.
Recommendations derived from M. Maunder and USFWS (1996).
1. Propagation and maintenance of genetic stock ex situ and protection of remaining wild individuals of B. rockii from threats are a necessity.
2. Survey ex situ holdings and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
3. Breeding biology research is urgently required. Cultivated stocks demonstrate a very low level of seed set.
4. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
5. Develop proper horticultural protocol and pest management for B. insignis.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, K.R. Wood and USFWS (1996).
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