Facts about Hawaiʻi’s Watersheds
For all their biological richness, these forests are among the most endangered in the world. Hawai’i has already lost half of its natural forest cover. Currently, more than one third of the plants and birds on the U.S. Endangered Species List are from Hawaiʻi. When spiders, snails, and insects are included, nearly 60% of Hawaii’s total native flora and fauna is endangered, by far the highest percentage of any state.
“Destruction and the loss of forest habitat are the primary causes of species decline.”
-The Nature Conservancy(Article on Hawaiʻi’s Conservation Priorities on Forested Watersheds)
East Maui Watershed Facts
In 1991 East Maui Watershed Partnership formed to be the FIRST partnership of its kind in the State of Hawaiʻi. Following their example 11 more watershed partnerships were created around the State. Visit the Hawaiʻi Association of Watershed Partnerships for info.
EMWP land area= approx. 123,000 acres
- Average surface water per year=60 Billion Gallons (Largest single source of water in the State of Hawaii)
- Approximately 59 plant species within the watershed are listed as threatened or endangered by the United States Forestry and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
- Approximately 60,000 acres within the watershed provides critical habitat for over 100 rare and endangered plant species.
- Approximately 367 miles of stream within the conservation boundaries are protected.
- 13 native bird species and their critical habitat are protected, 12 of which are endemic to Maui.
- EMWP efforts alone have removed over 100 animals within the watershed area (Not including other agencies that also do feral animal removal in the area)
- Area of existing fenced managed units=40,880 acres
- Approximately $200,000 in costs of materials and labor can be incurred to build 1 mile of fence in remote locations.
Hawaiʻi Watershed Facts
- Total value of a single Hawaiian Watershed = $7.4-14 Billion. (Based on 1999 study the University of Hawaii did on the Koʻolau Mountain Forest)
- Over 90% of plants native to Hawaii are Endemic (existing nowhere else in the world)
- Hawaiʻi is home to 1/3 of the bird and plant species on the U.S. Endangered species list.
- 1 Native Land Mammal = Hoary Bat
- No Native Terrestrial Reptiles
- From 260 presumed original colonists 1,100 native flowering plants have formed
- One species SUCCESSFULLY colonized the island about once every 10,000-20,000 years
- Today approx. 30 new species are introduced every year
- The passage of a water droplet from mountain-top to aquifer takes roughly 25 years.
Click here to read the 2010 Hawaii Statewide Assessment of Forest Conditions and Resource Strategy