Endemic to East Molokai. The total population estimate is about 500 plants. Extensive habitat degradation by feral ungulates poses an immediate threat to the sites where the species occurs. Competition with alien plants and possible predation by ungulates pose additional threats.
Threats to C. molokaiensis include habitat degradation by feral ungulates such as goats and pigs, browsing predation by feral goats, and competition with non-native plants, such as Melinis minutiflora (molasses grass) (USFWS 1996).
Number of Populations: 4 (USFWS 2001)
Number of Plants: 200-500 (USFWS 2001)
C. molokaiensis seeds have been collected and propagated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG).
There are three preserves operated by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) on the island of Molokai; Kamakou, Moomomi, and Pelekunu. TNCH has worked with state and local hunters to control feral pigs.
Seeds and plants of C. molokaienesis have been collected by NTBG where they plan to research propagation methods and the feasibility of long-term seed storage.
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of 333 seeds in its seed bank, which represents all four populations. In addition, there are eight plants that represent one population growing in the botanical garden.
1. Implement recovery plans for C. molokaienesis.
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 C. molokaienesis.
3. Conduct pollination biology and seed dispersal studies.
4. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of C. molokaiensis.
5. Test the influence of weeding and fencing on populations of C. molokaiensis.
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 C. molokaiensis.
3. Survey ex situ holdings and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.
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