This page last revised 08 September 2006 -- S.M.Gon III
TNC Action Sites
Maps & Figures
Lowland and montane mesic forest on Hawai'i Island are habitat for 'io, the Hawaiian hawk.
An untold number of native invertebrates, such as this Hawaiian happyface spider, are nested within Hawai'is native ecosystems.
The endemic ho'awa, Pittsporum hosmeri, is restricted to Kona, and a food plant of the endangered Hawaiian corw, 'alala.
There is a wide variety of native ecosystems on the Island of Hawai'i.
Hawai‘i Island Conservation Area Profiles
Ecological Systems: Nine ecological
systems of Hawai‘i Island are included among
targets of the different conservation areas, each bearing nested
natural communities and species. The overall viability ranks of the
nine systems in the six conservation areas are summaried below.
Occurrences selected for the ecoregional portfolio are indicated in boldface green. Dry Cliff System has POOR viability and is not included. KOH=Kohala; MK=Mauna Kea; WML=Windward Mauna Loa; K-K=Ka'ū-Kapāpala; KON=Kona; P-P=Pohakuloa-Pu'u Wa'awa'a.
Selected stream occurrences: Hawai‘i, despite its very young geological age, bears some high quality streams in the Kohala and Mauna Kea conservation areas, and the four streams selected:
Wailoa/Waipi‘o (Kohala), Honokānenui (Kohala), Hanawī (Papaikou Quad), and Honoli‘i (Hilo District) Streams are among the largest and highest quality streams on the island (Hawai‘i Stream Assessment 1991). Each bears a rich complement of native macrofauna and high volume, high quality water in a channel with high structural heterogeneity.
Special Ecological Features:
Forest Bird Concentrations of Hawai‘i Island are among the most extensive in area, and are present in Mauna Kea, Windward Mauna Loa, Ka‘ū - Kapāpala, and Kona conservation areas.
The Hawai‘i Waterbird Concentration is defined as three core wetlands and at least six of eight supporting wetland sites on the island, identified by the USFWS Waterbird Recovery Plan (2005). These include coastal and lowland sites largely outside of the ecological system targets.Nested Targets (Selected examples):
‘Ōhi‘a/Uluhe Lowland Wet
‘Ōhi‘a/Mixed Shrub Montane
‘Ōhi‘a Mixed Lowland Mesic
Lama/ ‘Ōhi‘a Lowland Mesic
Lama Lowland Dry Forest
Hawaiian Montane Bog
Mixed Fern/Shrub Wet Cliff Community
Koai‘a Lowland Dry Forest
Koa/Māmane Montane Dry Forest
Māmane/Naio Subalpine Dry Forest
Pūkiawe Subalpine Dry Shrubland
Hawaiian Alpine Aeolian Desert
There are many constituent native species that comprise the natural communities of the Conservation Area. Highlights include 39 rare/endangered plant species, 248 endemic flowering plant species, and an untold number of endemic invertebrate species likely numbering in the thousands.Major Threats: Uncontrolled feral ungulates (primarily pigs, goats, mouflon); a variety of invasive alien plants, including Pennisetum, Miconia, Clidemia, and Psidium, military training impacts and wildfire at montane and subalpine dry and mesic settings; logging and ranching in Kona and Mauna Kea conservation areas.
native-dominated ecological systems of the conservation areas of Hawai'i (left) occupy its higher
elevation central region, extending downward into areas (pink)
converted by historic change into anthropogenic and
The portfolio of conservation areas for Hawai'i (far right) includes viable ecological systems (dark green), four forest bird concentrations (red stars), four stream community occurrences (light blue courses running from Kohala and Mauna Kea conservation areas), and waterbird concentrations (detailed localities not shown at this scale).
|A cross section of a high island such as Hawai'i indicates the variety of moisture and elevation conditions present: Alpine and subalpine summit areas are flanked by wet, mesic and dry montane, lowland, and coastal/marine systems.|