Hawaii got a few bucks from Uncle Sam last week to help protect threatened and endangered species, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced on Sept. 15. According to Schatz, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has agreed to spend an additional $3.8 million on four endangered species programs. Now we know that in Washington, $3.8 million is couch change–a B-2 bomber burned up at least that much in fuel when it flew a single 25-hour mission from Missouri to Libya and back–but hey, I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Anyway, Maui County’s share of the pie is two-fold. First, it would be a part of the statewide $395,000 Hawaiian Hoary Bat Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Biomass and Timber Harvest in the Hawaiian Islands. This will, according to a news release from Schatz’s office, “develop an HCP to conserve the Hawaiian hoary bat (HHB) during biomass and timber harvest activities in the Hawaiian Islands.”
Second, the Kalua‘aha Ranch Conservation Easement on Molokai would get $500,000 to “permanently protect 969 acres to support the recovery of numerous endangered species, as well as minimize sedimentation of the nearshore ecosystem and the nation’s largest fringing coral reef,” according to the news release. Schatz’s office says that “Surveys of the property have documented three highly endangered native plant species–one of them having fewer than 50 extant individuals” and that the Kalua‘aha Valley is also home to endangered birds like the Newell’s shearwater and the Nene goose.
Photo of the Hawaiian hoary bat: Frank Bonaccorso, USGS