PCSU Receives $1 Million to Help Protect Makua's Native Plants and Snails

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jun 28, 2002

The Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU) of the Department of Botany at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a $1 million award for a project to conserve endangered native plant and snail species in the Makua Training Area.

The project is a cooperative one with the Army and the U.S. Geological Survey and is part of the Army‘s effort to address U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerns about the impact of training activities on Makua and to reduce any risk to rare species from such activities. It will focus on protecting 25 plant species in the wild by using fences and other protective measures, while seedlings will also be raised in nurseries and outplanted to establish new populations in locations safe from disturbance and alien mammals that consume plants.

Subprojects by Dr. Alvin Yoshinaga and Nellie Sugii of the Lyon Arboretum will involve storing seeds and tissue of the endangered plant species "in captivity" so that the species can be preserved and reintroduced, even if something catastrophic occurs. Dr. Michael Hadfield of the UH Mānoa Zoology Department will continue his research on ways to use walled exclosures to protect endangered native land snails from rats and other predators.

"While folks in the islands may differ about the use of Makua, we all want to see the valley protected. Support from the Army will allow us to work together to find the best ways to care for these species," said PCSU Unit Leader Dr. David Duffy.

The Makua project is one of over 170 projects run by PCSU, which is a cooperative project between the university, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. PCSU conducts basic and applied research on conservation biology and management of Hawaiʻi‘s natural resources. It employs over 200 researchers, students and technicians, providing jobs in parts of the state where economic opportunities are otherwise limited.