The Kauai Watershed Alliance has entered into an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to coordinate the management of our intact native forested watersheds. Threats to the watershed include invasive weeds and ungulates such as feral pigs & goats. Management programs include fence construction, fence maintenace, ungulate control, invasive weed control, and monitoring. For more information, go to: April 2005 Management Plan.
The following is a list of accomplishments and actions to date:
- Survey of threats: From 2003 and 2007, numerous ground and aerial surveys conducted by TNC, KISC, and DOFAW mapped weed and ungulate threats across Kauai’s interior. These surveys became the foundation of the KWA’s threat abatement programs for years to come.
- Weed Control: Control of priority weed species has been ongoing since the KWA’s inception in 2003. Aerial mapping identified four priority weed species threatening the core watershed: the Australian tree fern, kahili ginger, Clidemia hirta and strawberry guava. Containment plans aim to eradicate satellite populations of kahili ginger and strawberry guava and hold a defensive line. The Kokee Resource Conservation Program was contracted to do most of this work; and as of Feb 2012, over 190,000 weeds have removed from KWA management units!
- Kanaele: A feral pig-proof fence was constructed in 2008 around the bog- the last remaining intact low elevation Hawaiian bog. The 57 acre exclosure is a regular site for volunteer groups who help clear strawberry guava and other invasive weeds. The National Tropical Botanical Garden (a KWA member) and the Plant Extinction Prevention Program are propagating and outplanting rare plants into the bog enclosure. See volunteer page.
- The East Alakai Protective Fence Project: Four miles of strategic fencing connects with natural cliff barriers to protect 1268 acres of core watershed from feral pigs and goats. The fence was completed in May 2011 and the last animals are expected to be removed by the summer of 2013, after which field staff will maintain the fence and monitor for vegetation recovery & animal ingress. Corral-style pig traps built into the fenceline trap pigs and release them through one way gates into the adjacent public hunting unit.
- Wainiha Conservation Project: A half mile feral pig-proof fence has been constructed across a narrow part of Wainiha valley protecting 4930 acres of high quality lowland wet forest. Wainiha contains some of the finest examples of native lowland wet forest left in the state and was designated a TNC preserve in 2010. Animal control will begin after the Alakai unit is cleared of animals.
- Research and Development: Resource Mapping Hawaii has been contracted to develop high resolution georectified aerial imagery which can be used to monitor forest health and weeds such as the Australian tree fern. In adition, we are developing and refining unique technologies for invasive weed control in remote and inaccessible terrains such as cliff faces.
- Advocacy and Support: We support responsible biological control efforts that target our priority weeds kahili ginger, Clidemia hirta, and strawberry guava via surveys, funding, and lobbying. We also support hunting rule revisions that would increase public hunting within native forests, especially in the State owned Alakai Wilderness Preserve and Natural Area Reserves.