Maui News

Lehua Art Show: Call for submissions

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Aerial photographs of Lehua, rats, birds, and rodenticide application. PC: Hawai‘i DLNR.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is partnering with Island Conservation to host an art show focused on the natural beauty, native species, and powerful mana of Lehua Island.

Entries will be displayed at the Kauaʻi Society of Artists art gallery at Kukui Grove Aug. 12-19. All entries must be submitted by Saturday, Aug. 6. Artists of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to create and submit Lehua-inspired art.

Lehua is a 284-acre island located near the northern shore of Ni’ihau. Lehua Island is a predator-free, fully-protected refuge for threatened and endangered Hawaiian species. As one of the most significant seabird colonies in the Hawaiian Islands, the restoration of Lehua marks a milestone for conservation.

Before the removal of invasive rats, the island’s seabirds were facing rapid declines. Invasive rats decimated their populations, eating seabird eggs, chicks, and adults, as well as the island’s native plants and seeds.

Rats have now gone, securing habitat for Red-footed Boobies, Laysan Albatross, and 15 other native Hawaiian birds. The seabird guano supports a healthy reef full of marine species: manta rays, humpback whales, monk seals, sea turtles, and fish.

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Over the next decade, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife will work with partners including the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources, US Geological Survey, Island Conservation, and National Tropical Botanical Garden to help restore the island.

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In 2021, DOFAW began a vegetation restoration project, removing invasive weeds and planting native seed balls. In 2022-23, a new project will be initiated to attract more species of seabirds to the island. DOFAW is working with local experts to better understand the limu, reptiles, insects, and marine diversity of Lehua.

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