New species from Maui named after Maui Nui PEPP Coordinator A new species, Melicope oppenheimeri (Rutaceae), has been formally described and named after Maui Nui PEPP Coordinator, Hank Oppenheimer, in honor of his tremendous contributions to plant conservation in Hawai`i. This taxon is the 49th recognized Melicope species in the Hawaiian islands and is one of 13 Melicope taxa on the PEP Species list.
The Last Wild O`ahu Na`u Survived the Fire! The recent fires on O`ahu scorched thousands of acres in Nānākuli and threatened to eliminate O`ahu's last remaining wild Gardenia brighamii (na`u). A recent survey by PEPP and DoFAW found that the tree shows signs it survived the fire: green leaves and viable fruit!
This revered species, used traditionally for house posts, anvils, lei and yellow dye, was thought to be widely distributed throughout the dryland forests of Hawai`i, Lāna`i, Moloka`i, Maui and O`ahu. The current distribution of wild trees, aside from the lone wild tree on O`ahu, is limited to just over a dozen individuals on Lāna`i. Thankfully, hard work by PEPP and partner organizations, who have spent many years collecting fruit and cuttings from the remaining wild plants, have reintroduced over 150 offspring into protected Hawaiian forests. Our tireless efforts will continue to protect the last na`u on O`ahu and the hundreds of other critically endangered plant species throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
See the video below from the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources about the visit to the last na`u and the effects of the fire.
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.
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Plant Extinction Prevention Program Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit University of Hawai`i C/O DLNR-DOFAW 19 East Kawili Street Hilo, Hawaii 96720