The Kamehameha Butterfly & Rare Hawaiian Tree Snail Get a Helping Hand
The Department of Land and Natural Resources is overseeing projects to save two of Hawai‘i’s smallest creatures.
Will Haines is an investigator with the Pulelehua Project. He says people often think about endangered birds or plants… but forget that Hawai‘i has more than 5,000 species of native insects.
The Pulelehua Project is working to reintroduce the Kamehameha butterfly into lower areas by selective breeding and release. They’re currently surveying areas populated by m?maki plants, which serve as a host for the butterflies. Cynthia King, an entomologist with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
A different project is raising and releasing endangered Hawaiian tree snails into a specially built enclosure designed to exclude predators. The Snail Extinction Prevention Program just released the first 50 snails back into the wild, and is planning to release an additional hundred in the coming weeks. David Sischo is the Snail Extinction Prevention Program Coordinator for DLNR/DOFAW.