The “Forest Restoration Project” is being put on by The Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and they are looking for volunteers to give them a hand this weekend on the Big Island.
Saturday Morning, November 19, volunteers will gather at the park for a morning of hiking through the park and collecting seeds. That’s right, seeds! The goal of this project is to increase the population of the mamane forest on the side of Mauna Loa and surrounding areas on the Big Island to provide future habitat and forage for native honeycreepers. . Check out the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
page for more information.
Why the Mamane Tree?
The mamane tree
is an endemic tree to the Hawaiian Islands
; that means that it is only found in the Hawaiian Islands. For this reason alone it is very important to ensure the survival of this endemic species because their entire population depends on the survival of a group that is all located in one place.
Endemic species are especially sensitive because any single drought or disease could wipe out an entire population. Another issue that arises with endemic species is that other endemic species could be affected by the success of one another.In Hawaii the mamane tree is one endemic species of plant that supports the life of another endemic species of birds, The I’iwi bird, or the Hawaiian honeycreeper. These birds nest in the mamane tree, and their main source of food is the mamane seeds. As the mamane tree’s population is threatened, so is the survival of the Hawaiian Honeycreeper.
Other Endemic Species in Hawaii
Because of Hawaii’s
extremely remote nature, being some 2,400 miles from the nearest continent, it is home to many endemic species. For this reason concerns for preservation are of the utmost importance, and projects like the “Forest Restoration Project” are extremely vital to the success of these highly endangered species.