Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands
The Maui Plant Cluster Recovery Plan
Twenty-one endangered and one threatened plant species occur or occurred on the island of Maui, and in some cases on other islands as well. These plants are scattered throughout Maui in diverse ecosystems. Twelve of them are endemic to the island.
The Maui Plant Cluster Recovery Plan details the life history, habitat, reasons for decline, and conservation efforts for each plant. Current and historical ranges are also identified in this plan.
Melicope adscendens - Photo credit Marie Bruegmann/USFWS
Habitat & Distribution:
The 21 Maui plants listed in the Maui Plant Cluster Recovery Plan grows in a variety of vegetation communities (forests, shrublands, and volcanic cliffs), elevation zones (coastal to high cliff faces), and moisture regimes (dry to wet). Of the 21 Maui plants listed, 12 are endemic to the island. Some plants such as Hedyotis coriacea, is also found on the island of Hawai‘i, and Melicope mucronulata is also found on Moloka‘i.
The land that supports these plants is owned by the State of Hawai‘i, the City and County of Honolulu, the Federal government, and various private parties. Much of the Federal land is part of Haleakala National Park and other Federal lands are controlled by the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.
These plants and their habitats have been variously affected or are currently threatened by one or more of the following: trampling, predation, and habitat destruction by introduced animals; habitat degradation and competition for space, light, water, and nutrients by naturalized, alien vegetation; habitat loss from fires; alien insects; disease; small number of individuals and populations; and loss of pollinators. Seeds and/or plants of many of the Maui cluster have been collected and some have been successfully propagated for reintroduction.
The goal of the Maui Plant Cluster Recovery Plan is to downlist and eventually delist the plants in this plan. In order to do so, the existing populations need to be stabilized and their threats controlled so that they are able to reproduce naturally in the wild.