The Plant Extinction Prevention Program’s (PEPP) mission is to protect Hawai‘i’s rarest native plants from extinction. We are committed to reversing the trend toward extinction by managing wild plants, collecting seeds and establishing new populations. We focus on species that have fewer than 50 plants remaining in the wild by collaborating with conservation partners who have a shared interest in preserving Hawai‘i’s unique biological diversity.
May, 2015 The Plant Extinction Prevention Program was featured in the Mahalo‘Āina radio series on Hawaii Public Radio. Listen online to the "series
of reports designed to raise awareness of the many environmental,
economic, social and cultural benefits provided by Hawaiʻi's forests
and the need for human responsibility in protecting and perpetuating
these ecosystems". The Mahalo ‘Āina program is an initiative of the Hawai‘i Forest Institute.
April, 2015 The University of Hawai‘i News profiled a vital partner of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program: The Lyon Arboretum Seed Conservation Laboratory. Much of the plant material collected by PEPP staff is sent to the Seed Conservation Laboratory for propagation and long-term storage. The staff at Lyon Arboretum are the best in their field and provide PEP species with the best chances for survival. Read the news article here and watch a video about the Seed Conservation Laboratory.
February, 2015 NEW PEP SPECIES DISCOVERY! An unusual species of Cyanea was discovered on the Kōnāhua-nui summit area of the Ko‘olau Mountains on O‘ahu in September 2012. After close analysis of its fruits and flowers in comparison to other known Cyanea species, it was determined to be a new species and named Cyanea konahuanuiensis. With roughly 20 known individuals, this new species is the latest addition to the PEP Species list. Read about the discovery and description of C. konahuanuiensis in the journal Phytokeys.
Cyanea konahuanuiensis - photo by Maggie Sprock-Koehler
NEW SPECIES DISCOVERY! August 4, 2014: Maui Nui PEPP's Hank Oppenheimer and Keahi Bustamente, and Statewide PEPP Specialist Steve Perlman (then with the National Tropical Botanical Garden) discovered a new species of Hibiscadelphus (H.stellatus) in West Maui. There are a total of 99 known individuals among three populations: such a great find and new addition to Hawaii's flora! See the press release here, and the PhytoKeys manuscript here.
On May 16, 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Plant Extinction Prevention Program was a 2013 Recovery Champion! Recovery Champions are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and their partners whose work is advancing the recovery of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. We are truly humbled by this great honor. For more information on fellow 2013 Recovery Champions, please click here for the website, or here for the press release.
_Effective November 29, 2013, 15 more Hawaiian plant and animal species are federally listed as endangered species, including several PEP species. See the Federal Register (.pdf) below