Environment & Ecology

Rhinoceros Beetle Huge Threat

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

It moved around undetected for almost two years before it was found through a routine survey by University of Hawaii and USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-PPQ) officials. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) is one of the largest beetles to invade Hawaii and was discovered in an area surrounding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. By that time, it was found in a one mile radius around the base. Red flags were raised in 2007 when it was first found in Guam, an island half the size of Molokai where a major U.S.…

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

This cat, Spyder, is one of the many felines that make their home in Kalaupapa. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Feral cats living on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula have become an attribute of the settlement, welcoming visitors and providing companionship for residents by lingering around homes and community buildings. But as the numbers of ferals continue to rise, gathering in colonies of 20 to 30 cats, it creates an environmental hazard to the settlement, according to National Park Service workers.

“In the last few months, a couple people have moved out and the cat colonies [they were feeding] have been abandoned,” said Paul Hosten, a terrestrial ecologist for the National Park Service.“…The health of those cats deteriorates and so they pick up diseases, they fight, they spread illnesses like cat leukemia and the problem becomes a health concern.”

According to Hosten, the settlement has experienced flea outbreaks and odor problems in the last year.…

Hundreds Testify on GMO and Pesticide Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than 100 Molokai residents sat all day outside Molokai’s county offices last Tuesday, waiting to testify on a proposed Maui County bill aimed at regulating pesticide use and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

As currently written, the bill would establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies using certain quantities of pesticides, create buffer zones around schools, other public areas and bodies of water, and require public notification before pesticide applications. It also calls for the county to complete studies on the possible environmental and health impacts of large-scale agricultural companies that use pesticides and GMOs.

Introduced by Maui Council Member Elle Cochran, the bill resembles one passed into law on Kauai in November.…

Metal Recycling Services Are Here to Stay

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Community contributed

By David Powell

It seems that securing the proper place to store or dispose of materials made of metal on Molokai has been a challenge over the years. From Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., you’ll find Michael Diorec’s locally-owned, certified reclaimer company ready to assist you in any way possible. I found it a big relief when they aided me in cleaning up my little eye sores and junk areas. They have been at the Molokai Metal Facility for about a year now and their contract with the county runs for two more. We now have the means in place to do some serious clean-up in regard to all metal junk, year round, and for the next two years for sure.…

Maka`ala Molokai, the Little Fire Ant May Be Coming

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Maka`ala Molokai, the Little Fire Ant May Be Coming

Community Contributed

By Lori Buchanan, MoMISC


The stinging little fire ant has been detected on hapuu ferns being sold at several garden stores and big box retail outlets on Maui and Oahu, according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (DOA) on Dec. 31. The ferns originated from Hawaii Island.

The Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) continues to strongly urge Molokai residents not to import plants from Hawaii Island due to the current little fire ant (LFA)and coqui frog infestations there. Also to be aware that coqui frogs and LFA will hitchhike on other goods such as household items, vehicles and on you!…

UH Funds MHS Student’s Research

Monday, December 16th, 2013

UH Manoa News Release

The University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering and its Hawaii Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC) are supporting a Molokai High School student in her efforts to protect Hawaiian wildlife.

Sarah Jenkins, a junior at Molokai High, has already received recognition for her strong commitment to protecting Hawaiian endangered birds.  She placed second overall at the 54th annual Maui Science and Engineering Fair and later won first place for best Senior Research Project in the Animal Science Category from the Hawaii Academy of Science.  Her successful work is focused on improving the reproduction environment of the Hawaiian Coot and involves creating artificial floating nesting structures in Pipio Pond in the Mapulehu area. …

Reef Rules

Monday, December 16th, 2013

State Amends Law Protecting Coral Reefs

Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems extend more than 5,000 square miles and make up 60 percent of coral reefs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. With today’s global human impacts damaging or threatening 70 percent of the world’s coral reef systems, losing 80 percent of coral species within the Caribbean alone, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources is thinking of new ways to better protect and restore one of Hawaii’s most culturally valued resources.

The DLNR came to Molokai earlier this month as part of a statewide public hearing process, announcing amended Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) relating to the protection of stony coral and live rock.…

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young, Molokai compiler

The 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will take place on Molokai Thursday, Dec. 19. The nationwide event is an annual count that takes place in established areas during the same time period during the month of December. The information compiled over time provides a useful tool indicating population trends of bird species.

The topside Molokai count is divided into three routes: Seabirds and waterfowl via a northern pelagic route, forest birds at the Waikolu Lookout, and shorebirds and waterfowl along the south shore. The Kalaupapa peninsula is the fourth site in the count circle and requires advance reservations.…

What’s New is Not Good: Biosecurity Challenges in Hawaii

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

What’s New is Not Good: Biosecurity Challenges in Hawaii

Community Contributed

Fireweed, Senecio madagascariensis, is a poisonous pasture weed introduced to Molokai on cattle and hay. Photo by Glenn Teves

By Glenn I. Teves, UH Molokai Extension Agent

Biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of introduction into Hawaii of infectious diseases, quarantined pests, invasive alien species, and living modified organisms. Each year, approximately 10 to 15 new major insect pests are accidentally introduced onto Oahu. On top of this, many other seemingly unimportant pests are also accidentally introduced, though we may not fully understand their impacts at that time.

Oahu’s major ports of entry — including harbors, airports, and military installations — are the main entry points for these pests, but they can also be sent through mail systems.…

Water Conservation and Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release

There aren’t too many things in Hawaii we measure in the billions.  The size of the state’s economy is about $67 billion, the volcano at the Hawaii Volcano National Park produces about 6.4 billion cubic feet of lava per day and the 100-acre Molokai Irrigation System reservoir has a storage capacity of 1.2 billion gallons.  But if we want to see 50 percent of Molokai that is dry almost all year round to green up, it will require 389.6 billion gallons of water per year.  That is because Molokai has the highest recorded annual average pan evaporation rate in the state, at 118 inches per year according to historic data in DNLR reference “Pan Evaporation: State of Hawaii 1894-1983.”  Following Molokai, there are sites on Hawaii Island with 108 inches, Maui with 99 inches, Oahu and Kauai with 98 inches per year.…