Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 26.67
Liaison Navin Tagore-Erwin
Submission Date March 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

Hawaii Community College-Hilo
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Drew Kapp
Instructor, Academic Sustainability Committee Co-Chair, Earth Day Fair Coordinator
Social Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

Pālamanui campus has received the green light from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which authorized a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University of Hawaiʻi and the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) to collaboratively manage the lowland dry forest area next to the North Kona campus. The parties are in the process of completing the MOU

Pālamanui Campus Preserve is a 706-acre native Hawaiian dryland forest adjacent to the Kona campus of Hawaiʻi CC, one of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems on the Island, to be jointly managed by the University of Hawaiʻi and Department of Forest and Wildlife.

The forest is home to many species of native trees and other plants, as well as an important seedbank for future generations of native dryland forest species. It serves as an educational resource for Pālamanui as a living laboratory, provides campus and community members with environmental stewardship opportunities, contributes to a distinctive sense of place, and is an integral part of indigenous Hawaiian identity and cultural practice for the area.

https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2021/11/30/palamanui-forest-preserve-living-laboratory/


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
No

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
---

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

Preliminary assessment is under way at the near pristine condition of the Palamanui dry forests is among the most endangered ecosystem types in the world. The Pālamanui dry forest "is dominated by lama (Diospyros sandwicensis), alahe’e (Psydrax odorata), and sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum), with few invasive plants in the understory. This seasonal, evergreen dry forest receives fewer than 1000 mm of rain each year. Three federally listed Endangered Species and two Species of Concern were found in a survey of the site." https://forestgeo.si.edu/sites/oceania/palamanui


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Hawaiʻi Permanent Plot Network (HIPPNET) manages a nearby research plot located in the same dry forest ecotone, and provides a source of baseline data for the campus efforts to protect the Pālamanui Campus Preserve.

"The Hawaiʻi Permanent Plot Network (HIPPNET) was initiated in 2007 by faculty and research ecologists at the University of Hawaii, US Forest Service, and UCLA to investigate forest dynamics across the island of Hawaii. Two 4-ha plots have been established. Initial censuses for the plots were completed in 2009. One column of the plot is re-measured annually with full re-measures every 5 years. Support for the project has been provided by NSF EPSCoR, US Forest Service, and the University of Hawai’i."

https://forestgeo.si.edu/sites/oceania/palamanui


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

"Each HIPPNET plot is associated with a climate station. Each station is situated to be unobstructed by canopy vegetation and is outfitted with an array of sensors for collecting local climate data. Dataloggers record the information, which is then routinely downloaded via wireless modem."

https://forestgeo.si.edu/sites/oceania/palamanui


A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:

The University of Hawaiʻi, the US Forest Service, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Forestry and Wildlife, and other community organizations, will continue to monitor and protect the dryland forest.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Important & endangered species that have been identified at the Pālamanui campus so far include:

Critically Endangered/Critically Imperiled
Halapepe = Pleomele hawaiiensis (endemic plant)

Endangered/Imperiled
Wiliwili = Erythrina sandwicensis (endemic tree)

Vulnerable
Akoko = Chamaesyce multiformis (endemic shrub)
ʻĀkia = Wikstroemia sandwicensis (indigenous shrub)
Māmane = Sophora chrysophylla (endemic tree)
Iliahi = Santalum paniculatum (endemic tree)
Naio = Myoporum sandwicense (endemic shrub/tree)
Hōʻawa = Pittosporum terminalioides (endemic tree)

Least Concern/Apparently secure
ʻŪlei = Osteomeles anthyllidifolia (indigenous shrub)
Lama or ʻĒlama = Diospyros sandwicensis (endemic tree)

Additional Data sources:
https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2021/11/30/palamanui-forest-preserve-living-laboratory/
https://explorer.natureserve.org/Search
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/index/
https://forestgeo.si.edu/sites/oceania/palamanui

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.