This page last revised 31 August 2006 -- S.M.Gon III
TNC Action Sites
Maps & Figures
Montane bogs on the flat summit of Pu‘u Eke, West Maui Mountains.
The remote and rugged habitat of West Maui is refuge for rare endemic plants and animals.
The highly-eroded West Maui Mountains boast spectacular wet cliff ecosystems.
Non-native pigs, escaped into the wild, pose a threat to native ecosystems, but are also a local food source.
An untold number of native invertebrates, such as this endemic tree snail, are nested within West Maui native ecosystems.
Maui Conservation Area Profile
West Maui silverswords (Argyroxiphium calignis) near ‘Eke Crater(back).
Ecological Systems: Five ecological systems of West Maui were selected as conservation targets, each bearing nested natural communities and species (discussed below).
Lowland Dry Systems have POOR viability and are not included..
Selected stream occurrences: Maui bears many high quality streams, and the four streams selected: Hanawī, Honokōhau, Kahakuloa, and ‘Ōhe‘o, 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:
West Maui is part of the Maui Nui Waterbird Concentration, defined as three core wetlands and at least five of seven supporting wetland sites identified by the USFWS Waterbird Recovery Plan (2005). These include coastal and lowland sites 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 Lowland Mesic
Hawaiian Montane Bog
Mixed Fern/Shrub Wet Cliff Community
Mixed Shrub Dry Cliff Community
Montane Piping Cave Community
There are many constituent native species that comprise the natural communities of the Conservation Area. Highlights include 12 rare/endangered plant species, over 150 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, deer); a variety of invasive alien plants, and wildfire at lower dry and mesic settings.
native-dominated ecological systems of West Maui occupy its
remote, extremely rugged, and largely trackless central region,
extending downward into areas (pink) converted into anthropogenic
The conservation portfolio for West Maui includes the majority of the native dominated ecological systems (dark green) and two occurrences of the Hawaiian continuous perennial stream natural community (Honokōhau and Kahakuloa) shown in light blue.
|A cross section of the Island of Maui 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.|