Saturday, October 8, 2011

US meeting Oct 3 Invasive Species

Upcountry Sustainability meeting October 3, 2011
Maui Invasive Species
Notes And Blog Post By: Alina Rhoades

Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC)
Lissa Fox
Lissa Fox was our first guest speaker. Her slideshow was informative and engaging. Invasive species are a serious problem for our islands. The Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) has made great strides in slowing the growth of some species but the fight is very far from over. All Maui residents should be aware of the problem and become familiar with the plants, animals and insects that can cause great damage to our fragile ecosystem.

One such species is the fireweed. This cute little flower is invasive and toxic to livestock. It is spread by the tiny seeds that stick to shoes, tires and wind.

Cute fireweed. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr under a creative commons license.
Miconia is a very serious problem and can destroy entire eco systems. It was brought over for landscaping but the environment is perfect for allowing this species to thrive and eventually kill surrounding native species. It also contributes to soil erosion which sends the soil into our oceans causing damage to our reefs.

Miconia. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr under a creative commons license.
Look out for the little red fire ants. They are a problem on the Big Island but not on Maui, yet.
These nasty insects sting humans and animals, cause crop damage and promotes the growth of pests like aphids, white flies and other harmful insects. They multiply quickly and love living in trees where they will rain down on unsuspecting victims. We have to be on the look out for these pests so that we can stop any spread if they are brought in with potted plants from other islands or the mainland.

The 30 minute video by MISC shows the dangers of little red fire ants.

There are many more invasive species that are too many to list here. To find out more information on what is being done or what to look for go to: Volunteer to help or just get informed so that you can call if you find a species that you think could be invasive.

Maui Bees, LLC
Mark and Leah Damon
Bee keeping made easy. Mark and Leah presented bee keeping as a fun and sweet way to add flavor to your farm or home garden. They teach everything there is to know about bees, can set you up with your first colony and offer support on your new venture. They talked about how important the bees are to crops and how we need to care for them. There is a blight that is wiping out all the wild bees and the only way to guarantee bee survival is for us humans to care for them. It is our sweet duty to keep our bees safe and happy.

Home Gardening Support Network
Anne Gachuhi
Anne Gachuhi teaches classes on home gardening for individuals, schools and churches. She continued the list of invasive species with some tips on how to manage them. Though she did not have much time, she shared a wealth of information. To schedule a gardening class or to see what class she has scheduled you can go to

Feral Ungulate Removal Specialists
Lokahi Sylva
Maui is being over run by feral animals. Many of these can be used to feed the residents of Maui. Axis deer, wild hog and chickens are great sources of protein. The problem is that the cost is too prohibitive to have it USDA certified according to the regulations that are in place at this time. There is a very large population of deer on Maui. They are causing damage to farms, homes and golf courses on the island. In some cases this could be devastating. Lokahi is a hunter on Maui with a solution to the problem. He is putting together teams of certified removal specialists. He is taking applications for potential trainees. He is also working to make it possible to have the meat available for purchase. This could be a wonderful answer to island food sovereignty and sustainability for Maui and other islands. Let’s support Lokahi in his efforts to feed Maui. We will keep you informed of his progress.


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  1. Way to go, Alina! This from Courtney - I don't know why it's posting as anonymous!

  2. Ok! I just got a comment to work, but it would not do it from my google account. Go figure!


Comments are important to me, so mahalo for adding a comment! I will try to follow up when I receive one.