Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands
The Moloka‘i Plant Cluster Recovery Plan
This recovery plan covers 16 plant taxa found on the island Moloka‘i that were added to the endangered and threatened species list in October 1992. Thirteen of these taxa are found only on the island of Moloka‘i, the other three are also known on other islands of Hawai‘i.
These plants and their habitats have been variously affected and are threatened by many factors, which are detailed in this plan. Due to the isolation of the Hawaiian Islands, many of these plant species never developed defenses against these threats.
The Moloka‘i Plant Cluster Recovery Plan details the life history, habitat, reasons for decline, and conservation efforts for each plant.
Clermontia oblongifolia -
Photo credit Marie Bruegmann/USFWS
Habitat & Distribution:
Brighamia rockii, Canavalia molokaiensis, Hibiscus arnottianus ssp.immaculatus, and Stenogyne bifida extend through various windward vegetation communites. Bidens wiebkei is the only plant taxon of the 16 covered by this recovery plan that grows in the lowland to montane mesic shrublands and forests.
Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. brevipes, Cyanea procera, Hedyotis mannii, Melicope reflexa, Phyllostegia mannii, Pritchardia munroi, Schiedea lydagatei, Silene alexandri, and Silene lanceolata are found in wet forests to dry shrub and grasslands. Tetramolopium rockii is the only taxon found on West Moloka‘i and is restricted to coastal sand dunes on the islands' northwestern corner.
Of the plants covered in this recovery plan, Silene lanceolata and Hedyotis mannii are the only species currently found on an island other than Moloka‘i. Silene lanceolata is found on the island of Hawai‘i and O‘ahu; Hedyotis mannii is found on Maui; and Brighamia rockii, which is now found only on Molokai,
possibly occurred formerly on the islands of Maui and Lanai.
The land that supports the Moloka‘i cluster taxa is owned by the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal government, and private entities.
The State of Hawai‘i has erected fences to protect these endangered plants. The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i and local hunters are working to control feral ungulates through cooperative hunting efforts.
The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i operates three preserves on the island of Moloka‘i that contain some of the species covered by this plan. These preserves are Kamokou, Mo‘omomi, and Pelekunu.
Seeds and/or plants of some of these taxa have been collected and are being stored and propagated for reintroduction efforts.
Immediate recovery actions recommended by the Moloka‘i Plant Cluster Recovery Plan includes propagation and maintenance of genetic stock and protection of remaining wild individuals from threats. Secondly, the plan proposes the delineation of management units to conserve not only these taxa, but their habitats as well.