Geographic Team: Marianas
We are working with two private landowners, the non-profit Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, and CNMI Department of Land and Natural Resources, Rota Division of Forestry to collect seeds, enhance the Forestry Nursery, build exclosures and outplant rare native trees onto private property. Species of focus are critically endangered and listed Serianthes nelsonii, endemic to Guam and Rota and numbering fewer than 50 adults total, and Osmoxylon mariannense, endemic to Rota and numbering less than 30 adults total. If time allows, they are also hoping to outplant the Tabernaemontana rotensis and Heritiera longipetiolata, which are trees that are proposed for listing under ESA.
Recovery of Species
An inter-agency collaborative effort is ongoing between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ES and Refuges, Guam Plant Extinction Prevention Program (GPEPP, operating through University of Guam), and Andersen Air Force Base to recover Serianthes nelsonii in Guam. The last adult tree in Guam is located on the Air Force Base. The Air Force has been conducting research on nursery seedlings and recently (2014) transferred about 30 surplus seedlings to the Guam National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge, in collaboration with GPEPP, who is funded by USFWS ES, outplanted these seedlings, in addition to a small number from their own nursery, onto Refuge property. The seedlings are meticulously cared for - they were covered with netting to prevent large insect damage, are treated for other insect pests, were watered to establish, and were protected and survived a recent typhoon with wind speeds of over 100mph. Since the last adult tree is in a precarious physical condition, and since DoD is planning to clear forest on 3 sides of the tree for a big-gun firing range, we are scrambling to save the Guam population. This outplanting effort is the most promising recovery action we've seen on Guam thus far.
Another project is spearheaded by the local wildlife agency in Guam - Department of Agriculture, Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources. They have introduced a small population of the ko'ko' bird or endemic Guam rail (Gallirallus owstonii) to Cocos Island, an offshore island near Guam. Cocos Island does not have an established population of brown treesnakes, which have prevented the rail from surviving on Guam's main island. DAWR has called the project "Ko'ko' for Cocos," and have collaborated with the local community in the village closest to Cocos and the single resort on Cocos Island.
Consultations and Technical Assistance
The National Park Service, with the help of a University of Guam professor, recently translocated a population of endangered tree snails (Partula radiolata) that are endemic to Guam. The snails were relocated in order to treat a population of invasive little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) on National Park Service Property.
The story lists the "Manacore flatworm" as a threat, but that is a typo for Manokwari flatworm. We provided some technical assistance before they carried out the translocation.