The State of Hawaii is hosting the 3rd annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month (HISAM) for the month of February 2020. HISAM is an expansion on the past 7 years of hosting the Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week and is organized in coordination with the U.S. National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW). HISAM seeks to promote information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared “the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people.”
CHECK OUT THE HISAM 2020 EVENTS LIST AND GET INVOLVED: CLICK HERE!
Happy Holidays and warm seasons greetings from HOK!
It has been a big year for HOK! The hard work of staff and dedication of volunteers has been rewarded most impressively at He'eia State Park Estuary Restoration.
This year we removed all the standing invasive mangrove trees from our restoration site. Over the summer native birds began to return and nest. The estuary became home to a families of Ae'o and `alae `ula. And the estuary waters have filled with nursery schools of native fishes!
See some of our endangered visitors below:
Kioea - Bristle-Thighed Curlew
Ae'o - Hawaiian Stilt
`alae ke`oke`o - Hawaiian Coot
`alae `ula - Hawaiian Gallinule
Did you know that our local waters are home to three species of mullet? Our shores are home to 'ama'ama (stipped mullet), uouoa (sharpnose mullet), and invasive kanda.
'Ama'ama, stripped mullet, is one of the most culturally important fish and a staple species of fishpond cultivation. Although fishing season is closed December - March, you can see schools of mullet at He'eia in both the fishpond with Pae'pae o He'eia and in the estuary stream with HOK.
The mullet schools at He'eia are mostly juveniles using the estuary as a nursery, Estuaries, where freshwater streams meet tidal waters, are important zones for young fish because they are highly productive and provide food and shelter. The schools in He'eia are typically mixed groups of 'ama'ama and invasive kanda. Kanda were accidentally introduced in the late 1950's and have flourished. Although they look and act similar to 'ama'ama, they only mature to about half the size of an adult 'ama'ama and compete for space with native juveniles.
Watching schools of young mullet can be entertaining because they are quite active and will jump out of the water. While 'ama'ama tend to jump singularly, kanda will jump in a group. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the juvenile fish from viewing in the water. The differences become clear in a side-by-side comparison as pictured below. 'Ama'ama scales are lined up laterally along the body giving the appearance of stripes. They also have a blue dot at the base of the pectoral fin. Kanda on the other hand have no coloration and have a regular scale pattern.
Restoring estuaries like He'eia plays an important role in the recovery of these important species. HOK is proud to work with the He'eia Partners to help reestablish our native fish populations.
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.