News Release

May 28, 2013

40 Species on Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Maui Protected As Endangered Species under the Endangered Species Act

Media Contacts:
Ken Foote (808) 792-9535 or 282-9442

Final Critical Habitat Designations to be Published Separately
 
Thirty eight species - found on the Hawaiian Islands of Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and Maui (collectively known as Maui Nui) - were given protection under the Endangered Species Act as endangered species today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). In addition the Service reaffirmed the listing of two endemic Hawaiian plants currently listed as endangered. The Service will work cooperatively with state, federal and Native Hawaiian partners, conservation organizations and private landowners to recover these species and conserve their habitat.
 
 “The addition of these 40 Maui Nui species affords us the opportunity to provide additional protection to these rare species under the Endangered Species Act,” said Loyal Mehrhoff, field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. 
 
The 40 endangered species include 37 plant and three animal species. The 37 plant species include herbs, shrubs, trees and ferns.  The 3 animal species are the Newcomb’s tree snail and two Lana‘i tree snails. Of the 40 species, 20 were candidate species (17 plants and 3 tree snails), 15 are plant species of concern (each with fewer than 50 individuals remaining), and 3 are other plant species (Cyanea duvalliorum, Cyrtandra ferripilosa, and Mucuna sloanei var. persericea) that share common threats with the other 37 plant species.  In addition, the Service has reaffirmed the listing status of two endangered plants (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana and Santalum haleakalae var. lanaiense) whose range has changed since they were originally listed.  These 40 species altogether are found in 11 ecosystem types:  coastal, lowland dry, lowland mesic, lowland wet, montane dry, montane wet, montane mesic, subalpine, alpine, dry cliff, and wet cliff. 
 
The Service is also delisting a Lana‘i plant, Gahnia lanaiensis.  This plant, which is no longer believed to be a valid species, is now known to be synonymous with a species endemic to New Zealand, and is not in danger of extinction or likely to become an endangered species.
 
Degradation of habitat by non-native ungulates (i.e., pigs, goats, sheep and deer) is considered a threat to a majority of the 40 species.  Additional threats are: habitat destruction and modification by non-native plants, fire, stochastic events (e.g., hurricanes, landslides, flooding etc.), agricultural and urban development, and climate change; direct consumption of plants by ungulates (e.g., pigs, deer, sheep and goats); other non-native vertebrates (rats) and nonnative invertebrates (snails and slugs); and inadequate existing regulatory mechanisms and other species-specific threats. The Service finds that all of these species face immediate and significant threats throughout their ranges.
 
The proposed rule was originally made available to the public on June 11, 2012, and the 60-day comment period was to close on August 10, 2012.  The deadline for submitting comments was extended an additional 30 days to September 10, 2012.  The comment period was extended to ensure that the public has an adequate opportunity to review and comment on the proposed rule. 
 
An additional comment period was opened on January 31, 2013, in conjunction with the release of the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat and revised required determinations; that comment period closed on March 4, 2013.  Comment on the proposed listing rule was also considered during this most recent comment period, since the proposed rule included both the proposed listings and critical habitat; recent Service guidance, however, has resulted in the proposed listings and proposed critical habitat being completed through two separate rulemakings.

The species receiving endangered species status are:

Plants  
Scientific name Common Name Location(s)
Bidens campylotheca ssp. pentamera ko‘oko‘olau Maui
Bidens campylotheca ssp. waihoiensis ko‘oko‘olau Maui
Bidens conjuncta ko‘oko‘olau Maui
Calamagrostis hillebrandii No common name Maui
Canavalia pubescens ‘wikiwiki Lana‘i, Maui, Kaua‘i, Niihau
Cyanea asplenifolia Haha Maui
Cyanea duvalliorum Haha Maui
Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana Haha Moloka‘i, O‘ahu
Cyanea horrida Haha nui Maui
Cyanea kunthiana Haha Maui
Cyanea magnicalyx Haha Maui
Cyanea maritae Haha Maui
Cyanea mauiensis Haha Maui
Cyanea munroi Haha Moloka‘i, Lna‘i
Cyanea obtusa Haha Maui
Cyanea profuga Haha Moloka‘i
Cyanea solanacea popolo Moloka‘i
Cyrtandra ferripilosa ha‘iwale Maui
Cyrtandra filipes ha‘iwale Maui
Cyrtandra oxybapha ha‘iwale Maui
Festuca molokaiensis No common name Moloka‘i
Geranium hanaense nohoanu Maui
Geranium hillebrandii nohoanu Maui
Mucuna sloanei var. persericea sea bean Maui
Myrsine vaccinioides Kolea Maui
Peperomia subpetiolata alaala wai nui Maui
Phyllostegia bracteata No common name Maui
Phyllostegia haliakalae No common name Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui
Phyllostegia pilosa No common name Moloka‘i, Maui
Pittosporum halophilum hoawa Moloka‘i
Pleomele fernaldii hala pepe Lana‘i,
Santalum haleakalae var. lanaiense ‘iliahi Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui
Schiedea jacobii No common name Maui
Schiedea laui No common name Moloka‘i
Schiedea salicaria No common name Maui
Stenogyne kauaulaensis No common name Maui
Wikstroemia villosa Akia Maui
Animals  
Scientific name Common Name Location(s)
Newcombia cumingi Newcomb’s tree snail Maui
Partulina semicarinata Lana‘i tree snail Lna‘i
Partulina variabilis Lana‘i tree snail Lna‘i

The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.
 
The health of threatened and endangered species is strongly linked to the health and well-being of people and communities. Millions of Americans depend on habitat that sustains imperiled species – for clean air and water, recreational opportunities and for their livelihoods.
 
The Service’s priority is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective.  The agency seeks to accelerate recovery of threatened and endangered species across the nation, while making it easier for people to coexist with these species.
 
The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to kill, harm or otherwise "take" a listed species, or to possess, import, export or engage in interstate or international commerce of a listed species without authorization in the form of a permit from the Service.  The Act also requires all federal agencies to minimize the impact of their activities on listed species, and directs the Service to work with federal agencies and other partners to develop and carry out recovery efforts for those species. Listing also focuses attention on the needs of the species, encouraging conservation efforts by other agencies (federal, state and local), conservation groups and other organizations and individuals.
 
The final rule was published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2013.  Copies of the final rule may be downloaded from the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/.  For further information contact: Loyal Mehrhoff, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96850; telephone 808/792-9400 or fax 808/ 792-9581.
                                   
Note to Editors: Images can be downloaded from the following Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwspacific/sets/72157629988006950/