Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/58879

The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project: A case study in predator exclusion fencing, ecosystem restoration, and seabird translocation

File Size Format  
v198.pdf 6.26 MB Adobe PDF View/Open

Item Summary

dc.contributor.author Young, Lindsay C.
dc.contributor.author Behnke, Jessica H.
dc.contributor.author Vanderwerf, Eric A.
dc.contributor.author Raine, André F.
dc.contributor.author Mitchell, Christen
dc.contributor.author Kohley, C. Robert
dc.contributor.author Dalton, Megan
dc.contributor.author Mitchell, Michael
dc.contributor.author Tonneson, Heather
dc.contributor.author DeMotta, Mike
dc.contributor.author Wallace, George
dc.contributor.author Nevins, Hannah
dc.contributor.author Hall, C. Scott
dc.contributor.author Uyehara, Kim
dc.date.accessioned 2018-09-13T22:19:38Z
dc.date.available 2018-09-13T22:19:38Z
dc.date.issued 2018-09
dc.identifier.citation Young, L.C., J.H. Behnke, E.A. Vanderwerf, A.F. Raine, C. Mitchell, C.R. Kohley, M. Dalton, M. Mitchell, H. Tonneson, M. DeMotta, G. Wallace, H. Nevins, C.S. Hall and K. Uyehara. 2018. The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project: A case study in predator exclusion fencing, ecosystem restoration, and seabird translocation. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report 198. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Department of Botany. Honolulu, HI. 83 pages.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/58879
dc.description Reports were scanned in black and white at a resolution of 600 dots per inch and were converted to text using Adobe Paper Capture Plug-in.
dc.description.abstract Newell’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli; NESH) and Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis; HAPE) are both listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and are declining due to collisions with power lines and structures, light attraction, predation by feral cats, pigs, rats, and introduced Barn Owls, habitat degradation by feral ungulates (pigs, goats) and invasive exotic plants. Protection of NESH and HAPE on their nesting grounds and reduction of collision and lighting hazards are high priority recovery actions for these species. Given the challenges in protecting nesting birds in their rugged montane habitats, it has long been desirable to also create breeding colonies of both species in more accessible locations that offer a higher level of protection. Translocation of birds to breeding sites within predator exclusion fences was ranked as priority 1 in the interagency 5‐year Action Plan for Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel. In 2012, funding became available through several programs to undertake this action at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (KPNWR), which is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the main Hawaiian Islands. The project was named the “Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project” after the area on the Refuge where the placement of the future colony was planned. The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project is a result of a large partnership between multiple government agencies and non‐profit groups who have come together to help preserve the native species of Hawaiʻi. There were four stages to this multi‐faceted project: permitting and biological monitoring, fence construction, restoration and predator eradication, followed by translocation of the birds to the newly secured habitat. The translocation component is expected to last five years and involve up to 90 individuals each of NESH and HAPE. Prior to fence construction, baseline monitoring data were collected in order to provide a record of initial site conditions and species diversity. Surveys were conducted quarterly from 2012‐2014, investigating diversity and richness of plant, invertebrate, mammalian, and avian species. A 650 m (2130 ft) long predator proof fence was completed at Nihoku in September 2014, enclosing 2.5 ha (6.2 ac), and all mammalian predators were eradicated by March 2015. From 2015‐2017, approximately 40% of the fenced area (~1 ha) was cleared of non‐native vegetation using heavy machinery and herbicide application. A water catchment and irrigation system was installed, and over 18,000 native plants representing 37 native species were outplanted in the restoration area. The plant species selected are low‐in‐stature, making burrow excavation easier for seabirds while simultaneously providing forage for Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis). Habitat restoration was done in phases (10‐15% of the project per year) and will be continued until the majority of the area has been restored. In addition to habitat restoration, 50 artificial burrows were installed in the restoration to facilitate translocation activities. From 2012‐2017 potential source colonies of NESH and HAPE were located by the Kauaʻi Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP) with visual, auditory, and ground searching methods at locations around Kauaʻi. The sites that were selected as source colonies for both species were Upper Limahuli Preserve (owned by the National Tropical Botanical Garden; NTBG) and several sites within the Hono o Nā Pali Natural Area Reserve system. These sites had high call rates, high burrow densities to provide an adequate source of chicks for the translocation, and had active predator control operations in place to offset any potential impacts of the monitoring. Translocation protocols were developed based on previous methods developed in New Zealand; on the ground training was done by the translocation team by visiting active projects in New Zealand. In year one, 10 HAPE and eight NESH were translocated, and the goal is to translocate up to 20 in subsequent years for a cohort size of 90 birds of each species over a five year period. Post‐translocation monitoring has been initiated to gauge the level of success, and social attraction has been implemented in an attempt to attract adults to the area. It is anticipated that the chicks raised during this project will return to breed at Nihoku when they are 65‐6 years old; for the first cohort released in 2015 this would be starting in 2020. Once this occurs, Nihoku will be the first predator‐free breeding area of both species in Hawaiʻi.
dc.description.sponsorship This project and manuscript are part of a large collaboration that spans beyond the agencies mentioned. Many individuals were consulted for advice and input along the way. For botanical and invertebrate advice, we thank: David Burney, Lida Burney, Natalia Tangalin, Emory Griffin‐Noyes, Kawika Winter, Kim Starr, Forest Starr, Sheldon Plentovich and Keren Gunderson. For assistance with translocation training and predator exclusion fence technical advice we thank Helen Gummer, John McLennan, Lindsay Wilson, and Darren Peters. For reviewing documents related to this project, and for feedback on techniques we thank the seabird hui, particularly Fern Duvall, Jay Penniman, Megan Laut, Darcy Hu and Cathleen Bailey. For their on the ground assistance at KPNWR, we thank: Shannon Smith, Chadd Smith, Warren Madeira, Rob Petersen, Jennifer Waipa, Padraic Gallagher, Carolyn Rushforth, Kristina Macaulay, Jimmy Macaulay, and Jillian Cosgrove. We would also like to thank Chris Mottley, Kyle Pias and the entire predator control team in Hono o Na Pali NAR and Kawika Winter, Chiemi Nagle, Merlin Edmonds and the entire predator control team in Upper Limahuli Preserve. We would also like to thank the Kaua‘i Island Utility Co‐operative (KIUC) for the funding that they provide – through a Habitat Conservation Plan – to provide predator control and seabird monitoring at several of the sites used for translocation. Lastly, we would like to thank all of the endangered seabird technicians within the Kauaʻi Endangered Seabird Recovery Project for all of their hard work in montane colonies. Mahalo.
dc.format.extent 83
dc.language.iso en-US
dc.publisher Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit
dc.relation.ispartofseries Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report;198
dc.rights CC0 1.0 Universal
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
dc.subject Newell’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli)
dc.subject Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma Sandwichensis)
dc.subject Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
dc.subject Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis)
dc.subject Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
dc.subject The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project
dc.title The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project: A case study in predator exclusion fencing, ecosystem restoration, and seabird translocation
dc.type Report
dc.type.dcmi Text
prism.startingpage 1
prism.endingpage 83
Appears in Collections: The PCSU and HPI-CESU Technical Reports 1974 - current


Please email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons