NENE RELEASE AGREEMENT PROPOSED AT HALEAKALA RANCH
The state hopes to enter a safe harbor agreement with Haleakala Ranch to reintroduce and establish a population the endangered nene on the property.
Under the agreement Haleakala Ranch would maintain or improve more than 3,000 acres of land, monitor release pens and outplant native food sources, with the hopes of increasing the population from 75 introduced birds at the site to approximately 200 nene over a 10 year period.
Similar conservation efforts have increased introduced populations at Pu’u Hoku Ranch on Molokai and Pi’iholo Ranch on Maui.Â The estimated nene population statewide was last listed at 1,300 individuals in 2003.
Currently, the primary threats to nene are predation by introduced animals, lack of suitable low-land habitat, and degraded habitat.Â The main objective of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Nene or Hawaiian Goose (July 2004) is to increase the population sizes and geographic distribution sufficient to consider reclassification or down-listing of this endangered species to threatened status.
On Maui, nene populations have been established in West Maui at Hana’ula, at Pi’iholo Ranch on the Northern Slopes of Haleakala, and inside Haleakala National Park.
(By Wendy OSHER Â© 2009; Image courtesy Haleakala National Park Service)