Maui News

Ed Case Funding for Unique Hawai‘i Wildlife

October 24, 2021, 7:30 AM HST
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Male Hawaiian yellow-faced bee, Hylaeus anthracinus. Photo: Sheldon Plentovich / courtesy Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources

The State of Hawaiʻi will receive more than $1 million in grants for three key projects to benefit unique wildlife and their habitats, according to an announcement from Congressman Ed Case (HI-01).

The US Fish and Wildlife Service included Hawai’i among 16 states which won grants through its Competitive State Wildlife Grant program.

“These grants are critical investments by our federal government in partnership with local and state agencies to protect species that are unique to our island home,” said Case, who serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee with jurisdiction over FWS funding.

“The Competitive State Wildlife Grants provide a proactive, collaborative and innovative mechanism for addressing significant threats to our nation’s cherished wildlife and their habitats,” said Martha Williams, FWS’ Principal Deputy Director.

“Stemming the crisis of species extinction is a central component of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative.”

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“One of the initiative’s goals is to enhance wildlife habitat and improve biodiversity to keep species from reaching the point where they are too far gone to save. In addition, these grants provide support for State Wildlife Action Plans that underpin important efforts to conserve imperiled species and their habitats,” said Williams.

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Case said one of the projects awarded a grant will enable the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources to join forces with the University of Hawai’i-Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and FWS to implement conservation actions for rare, Yellow-faced bees on O’ahu. Stabilization and recovery of some of the last populations of the bees on O’ahu is achievable with the installation of fencing around key habitat, planting of diverse native plant species correlated with nesting success, and deployment of artificial nest habitat, which provides protection against predators.

All FWS projects awarded grants include timely actions, such as range-wide species assessments and habitat improvements, that may help avert the need for new federal endangered species listings and that help states implement FWS recovery plans to cooperatively protect and conserve species that are currently listed.

The three grant projects for Hawai’i include:

  • Multi-Institution Hawaiian LandSnail CaptivePropagation Network
    • $ 500,000 SWG Federal Share
    • $ 166,667 Non-Federal Match
    • $ 666,667 Total Project Cost
  • O‘ahu ‘Elepaio Status, Demography, and Predator Control
    • $ 246,188 SWG Federal Share
    • $ 82,600 Non-Federal Match
    • $ 328,788 Total Project Cost
  • Stabilizing Yellow-faced Bee Populations
    • $ 333,983 SWG Federal Share
    • $ 111,526 Non-Federal Match
    • $ 445,509 Total Project Cost
Male yellow-faced bee on ‘Akoko (Euphoria degenerii). Courtesy photo / Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources
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