Maui News

Permit Sought to Aid in Recovery of Endangered Nēnē

February 21, 2019, 11:10 AM HST
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Baby nēnē born at Kahili Golf Course in Waikapū, Maui, Jan. 2016. File photo credit: Kahili Golf Course.

Haleakalā Ranch has submitted an application to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for an Enhancement of Survival Permit for their lands on the island of Maui. Haleakalā Ranch is voluntarily seeking this permit to contribute to the recovery of the endangered nēnē or Hawaiian goose.

From Feb. 19 to March 21 the Service is seeking public review and comment on the associated draft Safe Harbor Agreement and National Environmental Policy Act – Draft Environmental Action Statement.

The draft Safe Harbor Agreement between the Haleakalā Ranch, Hawai’i State Department of Land and Natural Resources and Service would improve the long-term recovery of nēnē across 3,056 acres of privately-owned ranch land on Maui. The proposed conservation measures on the ranch include habitat improvement and predator control to help increase the current range of the nēnē and boost the total population of this species, thus contributing to their overall recovery.

The nēnē was listed as an endangered species in 1967, and in the decades following, some 2,800 captive-bred birds were released at more than 20 sites throughout the main Hawaiian Islands. Officials with the US Fish and Wildlife Service say the release of captive-bred nēnē on national wildlife refuges, national parks and state and private lands saved the species from imminent extinction.

On the island of Maui, the nēnē was once thought to be extinct. Today, thanks to reintroduction efforts in Haleakalā National Park, Hanaʻula in West Maui, and successful a Safe Harbor Agreement with Piʻiholo Ranch on the Northern slopes of Haleakalā, the population of nēnē on Maui continues to grow.

“Thanks to dedicated partnerships between private landowners, conservation groups, and the State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, the nēnē are moving forward on the road to recovery, said Katherine Mullett, Acting Field Supervisor for the Service’s Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. “Safe Harbor Agreements support private landowners’ ability to manage their lands and make improvements in a way that contributes to the recovery of endangered species.”

To request further information, obtain copies of documents, or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods. Please include your name and return address in your comments and refer to the “Safe Harbor Agreement for Nēnē at Haleakalā Ranch”:

  • Internet: Documents may be viewed online.
  • Email: [email protected]. Include “Safe Harbor Agreement for Nēnē at Haleakalā Ranch” in the subject line of the message.
  • US Mail: Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room #3-122, Honolulu, HI 96822.
  • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Documents will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.
  • Fax: Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 808- 792- 9580, Attn: Safe Harbor Agreement for Nēnē at Haleakalā Ranch.

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