Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Region

Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands

Recovery Plan for Lipochaeta venosa & Isodendrion hosakae

Photo of Lipochaeta venosa

Lipochaeta venosa and Isodendrion hosakae are shrubs found only on the island of Hawai‘i. Lipochaeta venosa was listed as an endangered species in 1979 while Isodendrion hosakae was listed in 1991.

Lipochaeta venosa is a semi-woody shrub usually described as low or trailing. The Hawaiian name nehe is applied to other species of Lipochaeta as well. Isodendrion hosakae  is a branched, upright, evergreen shrub. All members of the genus Isodendrion  are known by the common Hawaiian name of aupaka.

Lipochaeta venosa - Photo credit Marie Bruegmann/USFWS

Habitat & Distribution:
Lipochaeta venosa and Isodendrion hosakae are found at all sites where they were historically known, and L. venosa is found at one additional site. These rare plants occur in the Waikoloa region of the South Kohala District on the island of Hawai`i.

Currently, these species are found in the cattle pastures of Parker Ranch and the adjacent Hawaiian Home Lands. The area is typically dry and windy, and the soil is well drained and composed largely of volcanic cinder or ash material.

As of 2007, there were an estimated five populations of L. venosa  with about 4,000 individuals, and one population of I. hosakae totaling several 100 individual plants.

Research needs to be conducted to determine habitat requirements for both species.

The principal threats to these two species include habitat destruction by domestic cattle and feral ungulates, fire, cinder mining, and competition by introduced plant species, particularly fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum).

Management efforts are aimed at preventing grazing and wildfire on habitat for one or both of these plant species. The State Division of Forestry and Wildlife has erected protective fences around some of the populations to protect the plants from ungulates.

DOFAW and the Lyon Arboretum have grown some of these plants from cuttings taken at Parker Ranch. No seeds of these two species exist in any seed banks.


Last updated: September 20, 2012
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