MANUKA, HAWAI‘I — The Department
of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will close the Manuka State Park
and a portion of the Manuka Natural Area Reserve, on the island of Hawaii's
southwest side, between Monday, March 6 through Friday, March 10, 2006.
“We are taking these steps because we believe it is a priority to control
coqui in a remote natural area where endangered species are threatened,”
said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
Natural Area Reserves System, or NARS, preserve and protect representative
samples of Hawaiian biological ecosystems and geological formations.
The system presently consist of 19 reserves on five islands, encompassing
more than 109,000 acres of the State's most unique ecosystems.
Manuka Natural Area Reserve is the largest reserve in the state’s system.
Extending from sea level to 5,000 feet in elevation, this reserve features
a broad range of habitats. These include sub-alpine shrub lands and
forests, mesic montane “kipuka” forests, wet montane forests, lowland
mesic and dry forests, and lava anchialine pools.
The diverse areas found in the NARS range from marine and coastal environments
to lava flows, tropical rainforests, and even an alpine desert. Within
these areas one can find rare plants and animals, many of which are
on the edge of extinction. The reserves also protect some of the major
watershed areas which provide our vital sources of fresh water.
"The Natural Area Reserves System is an irreplaceable legacy for
the people of Hawaii. DLNR is committed to protect and manage these
areas so that future generations can enjoy, study and experience the
natural heritage which belongs only to our State," Young said.
Young said the treatment strategy for Manuka was developed in consultation
with coqui experts from around the state. DLNR crews will carry out
coqui frog control during those dates.
“As a precaution, we are closing these two areas to the public during
our control operations,” said Young,
“Due to consistent drought during December 2005 and January this year,
our scheduled application was postponed to March. Very dry conditions
can make citric acid ineffective for coqui control,” said Young.
“This coming treatment will help to defend the area we have already
covered, but there is a great deal of work yet to do. We will follow
up with a second treatment on this area in the next fiscal year when
new funds are available. Treatments would not be scheduled anyway during
June and July due to bat breeding and pupping season,” he said.
“If the entire area is treated, continuing monitoring and spot treating
may successfully eradicate this isolated population,” he added.
Treatments will cover an initial spraying of a new nine acre block within
the Natural Area Reserve. The operations will include a helicopter,
and a 5000-gallon tanker truck that will supply water for mixing the
citric acid which is used to control the frogs.
DLNR will close the loop trail area of Manuka Natural Area Reserve and
adjacent Manuka State Park to allow the use of the parking lot as a
staging area and to avoid possible risk to the public.
Initial trials with citric acid in May 2005 appeared to be highly effective,
and showed an 89% reduction of frogs in the treatment plots. However
the area was re-populated within a month because prompt follow-up treatment
was not available at the time.
Frogs that were captured following the treatments probably arrived from
untreated neighboring areas. To prevent this from happening again, successive
treatments in late October and mid-November 2005 were conducted via
aerial and on-the ground spraying operations. Following that round of
treatments the infestation was considered approximately one-third treated.
Effectiveness of the sequential treatments was demonstrated in data
gathered in a post-treatment recapture study which showed good success
in the initial seven acre treatment area of a roughly 25 acre infestation.
Through five nights in December 2005, just one frog was caught in the
treated plot, and 40 in the untreated area. The one frog was near the
edge of the untreated area.
For more information call DLNR-Forestry at (808) 974-4221 or DLNR-Parks
at (808) 974-6219.
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DLNR Education and Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (808) 587-0407