Environment

Merrie Monarch Festival
Merrie Monarch Festival

With Merrie Monarch approaching late next month, hula hālau across the state are beginning to prepare for the upcoming festival on Hawai‘i Island. For some that means gathering plants and flowers that represent the mele, or song. It’s a tradition that’s brought countless hālau into native ‘ōhi‘a forests, where the lehua blossom grows. But a rapidly spreading disease is prompting some to call for an all-out ban this year. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

HFIA
HFIA

The philosophy of Mahalo ʻĀina is simple: to help ensure a thriving future for forest restoration and education programs.  The forest provides us with environmental, economic, and cultural benefits, but we must also understand that we must give back to the forest.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Hawaiʻi has been called by some 'the endangered species capital of the world', but it may not be known as such for long.  There is a group of people working to stem the tide of plant species loss in the islands.  They are the men and women of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

Fountain Grass originates from Africa and was introduced to Hawaiʻi Island in the 20th century.  It has become a major threat due to its adaptation to fire.  The wild fires that sometimes rage on the Kona coast destroy native plants and clear the way for fountain grass to move in.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Palila bird is a small, unassuming bird with a magnificent golden crown and breast.  Despite it's modest size, it is royalty among native species and an icon for bird conservation in the Hawaiian Islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wildfires

Feb 3, 2016
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Wildfires are an issue for all islands in the state. The destruction caused by wildfires can potentially affect everything from native forests, watersheds, and agricultural production through to drinking water, cultural resources, and of course human safety.  The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization is dedicated to controlling the wildfire threat.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Watershed

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The forested watershed is the well from which life in the islands spring. Without it soils would erode into the oceans, coral reefs and fishing would be devastated. Water supplies would vanish, leaving the islands exposed to threats such as drought, a consequence of which would be immeasurable economic and environmental chaos.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Big Island Invasive Species Committee
Big Island Invasive Species Committee

Invasive species threaten the well being of native flora and fauna. This threat takes many forms, a fungus, a disease, a plant or animal. The legacy of the presence of invasive species is felt across the islands. On Hawai'i island, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is conducting outreach and education projects, and building strategies to combat invasive species.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Hoary Bat

Feb 3, 2016
Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Hoary Bat is Hawaiʻi's only native land mammal. It can be found throughout a variety of terrain and elevations, from sea level to the summits of Hawaiʻi's highest mountains. The Hoary Bat population has suffered tremendous decline due to habitat destruction, pesticides, and predation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

Many shipments of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest have been found to be riddled with slugs, which can carry a dangerous parasite that can prove deadly to humans. To combat this threat, the Hawaiʻi Forest Institute has started a local Christmas tree demonstration project called ʻĀina Mauna Christmas. 

Christopher Phillips explains...

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