(BIVN) – On Labor Day, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Lyon Arboretum detailed its Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Seed Banking Initiative in a video news release.
Part of that effort involves Rare Plant Conservation on Hawaiʻi Island, as the severe habitat alteration caused by Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death could have devastating effects on these rare plant populations. The Ceratocystis fimbriata fungus has already killed hundreds of thousands of ʻōhiʻa trees on Hawaii Island.
However, biologist are also concerned about the impact the loss of the ʻōhiʻa will have on Hawaii’s native birds, many of which are also endangered.
“What has happened is extensive and it’s alarming,” said Paul Banko of the USGS Biological Resources Division during a July meeting of the Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission in Hilo. “(ROD) does affect birds. ʻŌhiʻa is the backbone of of the forest ecosystem for most of our native birds, with a few exceptions. Palilla, you know, they don’t have ʻōhiʻa in the first place. But for most birds, ʻōhiʻa is very important to them. So this is cause for real concern.”
The video of the discussion before the GMAC is found above.