Maui News

Volunteers sought for months-long habitat restoration project in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

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Images courtesy: DLNR

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, in partnership with the Kure Atoll Conservancy, is seeking habitat restoration volunteers for work at the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Hōlanikū (Kure Atoll) is a part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and is located 1,400 miles northwest of Oʻahu. Hōlanikū provides important habitat for wildlife, including the endangered Laysan duck (Anas laysanensis) and ‘llioholoikauaua (Hawaiian monk seal). Eighteen species of seabirds nest on Hōlanikū including Kaʻupu, (black footed albatross) and ʻAoʻū, (Christmas shearwater).

Over the course of 6-8 months, volunteers will be trained to conduct:

  • Invasive plant removal (manual and chemical)
  • invasive species monitoring, plant identification
  • wildlife monitoring and species identification
  • native plant propagation and distribution,
  • safe animal handling
  • beach cleanups to remove wildlife entanglement and ingestion hazards.

Although the program objectives are diverse, the majority of time is dedicated to invasive plant removal.

“Over the last 20 years DLNR has been working to transform Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary from a tangled mess of weeds to a resilient functioning ecosystem that supports over one million nesting seabirds, hundreds of shorebirds and 80 endangered Laysan ducks,” Kure Atoll Conservancy Executive Director Cynthia Vanderlip said. “This work was done by many hands who worked year-round to remove the most destructive weeds and plant native Hawaiian plants. These natives prevent erosion and increase the nesting success of seabirds.” 

Video courtesy: DLNR


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