Honolulu, HI, United States
Honolulu, HI, United States

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Barron M.C.,Landcare Research | Anderson D.P.,Landcare Research | Parkes J.P.,Landcare Research | Gon S.M.O.,The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii
New Zealand Journal of Ecology | Year: 2011

In 2007 The Nature Conservancy (TNC) undertook an intensive ungulate control programme throughout three of its preserves on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Moloka'i, with one aim being to reduce feral pig numbers to zero or near zero. The preserves were divided into manageable zones and over a 2 to 5 month period hunted from the ground with dogs in a series of up to four sweeps across the zones. More focussed hunting followed at sites with evidence of survivors. We used the data collected by the hunters to evaluate the efficacy of the control programme. The data comprised the number of pigs shot per zone per sweep and the hunters' effort and were used to fit a Weibull catch-effort model within a Bayesian framework. The fitted model provided posterior parameter estimates of the initial number of pigs resident in each zone and the relationship between hunting effort and the probability of detecting (and dispatching) a pig. The large shape parameter estimate indicated that the probability of detecting a pig increased substantially with cumulative hunting effort or experience in that zone. The control programme was successful in six out of eight of the control zones reducing pig numbers to zero or one per zone (equating to <1 pig per km2) but was less successful in two zones where an estimated 9-14 pigs remained. However there were large credible intervals around some of the parameter estimates, suggesting an additional source of variation that was not captured by the current model. We suggest this was due to immigration of pigs back into the preserves. The quantified relationship between search effort and the probability of detecting a pig was used to make predictions on how much effort is required to detect all pigs, and can be used by TNC to interpret future monitoring data. © New Zealand Ecological Society.

Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Kittinger J.N.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Bambico T.M.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Minton D.,The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii | And 5 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2016

Environmental restoration projects are commonly touted for their ecological positives, but such projects can also provide significant socioeconomic and cultural benefits to local communities. We assessed the social dimensions of a large-scale coral reef restoration project in Maunalua Bay, O‘ahu, where >1.32 million kg of invasive marine macroalgae was removed from 11 hectares (90,000 m2; 23 acres) of impacted coral reef in an urbanized setting. We interviewed 131 community stakeholders and analyzed both quantitative and qualitative data to assess human uses of the environment, assess perceptions of environmental health, and characterize social dimensions (+/−) associated with the invasive algae removal effort. Results indicate substantial direct economic benefits, including the creation of more than 60+ jobs, benefiting more than 250 individuals and 81 households. The project helped develop a skilled workforce in a local business dedicated to environmental restoration and increased the capacity of community organizations to address other threats to reefs and watersheds. Other major benefits include revitalization of Native Hawaiian cultural practices and traditions and the successful use of harvested invasive algae as compost by local farmers. Our results show the project heightened community awareness and a broader sense of stewardship in the area, creating enabling conditions for collective community action. Our findings show that restoration projects that explicitly incorporate efforts to build community awareness, involvement, and a shared responsibility for a site may ultimately create the long-term capacity for sustainable stewardship programs. We conclude by discussing lessons learned for engaging productively with communities in environmental restoration and stewardship, which remains a central focus in conservation worldwide. © 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

News Article | September 9, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

Hawaii officials on Thursday proposed a series of steps to fight coral bleaching that's threatening the state's reefs, including new marine protected areas, limits on fishing and controlling polluted runoff from land. Hawaii's ocean temperatures have been rising as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased, forcing corals to expel algae they rely on for food. Vast stretches of reef have turned white over the past two summers, increasing the risk that the coral will get sick and die. Some already have died. It's a serious concern for the health of the ocean because coral reefs provide habitat for fish and other marine life, scientists say. Bruce Anderson, the state Division of Aquatic Resources administrator, said addressing polluted runoff is difficult, noting it would cost millions of dollars to create artificial wetlands that would help control runoff. Fishermen in the past have also resisted moves to limit their catch. But Anderson said the coral bleaching crisis presents an opportunity. "We are going to have future bleaching events, and the water is going to get warmer. And it's going to happen again and again," he said. "So our challenge is to prevent the impacts of bleaching as much as we can and also to help the reefs recover." Another idea is to ban lay gill nets that fishermen leave in the water. Anderson said these types of nets are harmful because they kill all the fish caught in them, not just the species targeted by the fisherman. The nets work because the mesh is large enough for a fish's head to go through but too small for its body to escape. The state will hold public meetings on its proposals before any are adopted. Anderson said the state came up with the proposals after surveying over 80 scientists around the world about what steps are most effective at helping coral reefs. Warmer ocean temperatures bleached coral in Kaneohe Bay off Oahu in 2014. Last year, they bleached corals off the west coast of the Big Island and off Maui. The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii's marine science director said he's excited and encouraged the state is taking on the issue and that it recognizes it needs to think strategically about coral bleaching. Eric Conklin called the proposals ambitious and noted the state will need to get feedback and input from the community. He said the proposals face a long road to approval through a public process. "It's really easy to say 'the science tells us these are the best things to do.' It's really tricky to figure out the best way to be guided by that science but develop up a plan that still meets the needs of the people who rely on the resource," Conklin said. "That's the real challenge in front of us."

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