The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that 39 plants and 10 animal species in the State of Hawai‘i are at risk of extinction and are being added to the list of federally endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
These 49 species occur in 11 different habitat types, with 48 of them occurring nowhere on Earth except Hawai‘i. One bird species being listed—the band-rumped storm-petrel (shown above)—occurs in Japan, Hawai‘i, the Galapagos and subtropical areas of the Atlantic. The service is listing only the Hawai‘i population, found on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Kaua‘i and Lehua in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as endangered.
“These species are all affected by habitat loss and invasive species,” said Mary Abrams, the service’s field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. “Listing these species as endangered will help draw attention to the threats that have brought them so close to extinction, and allow us to begin the process of bringing about recovery.”
These plants and animals are at risk of extinction due to invasive, non-native species, habitat altering recreational activities, small remaining population sizes and threats from erosion, landslides and fire. According to the service, the listing of these species will not only boost ongoing conservation efforts to address these threats and prevent extinction, but will improve the ecological health of the islands.
“A number of threats continue to have a devastating impact on native ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands” Abrams said. “We will continue working with local communities, governments, industry and the people of Hawai‘i to protect and recover these native species, which are an important part of what makes these islands so special.”
For a complete list of the species in covered by this action, copies of the Federal Register Notice, and all other associated documents please visit www.fws.gov/pacificislands/