Clean your gear: You can prevent the spread of invasive species by cleaning mud and dirt from your footwear, bikes, vehicles, and gear before AND after travelling. Many invasive plants and animals are detected along trails and disturbed areas (such as new construction). They are excellent hitchhikers and can spread easily-both between islands AND across an island. Always enter an area with clear gear!
RAPID ’ŌHI‘A DEATH (ROD) ALERT Special Decontamination Procedures, especially if you are on Hawai’i or Kaua’i Island. ROD is a disease that is spreading on Hawai’i Island and rapidly killing ohia trees. It is caused by a fungus that attacks the trees vascular system. The fungus can be spread through the movement of contaminated soil, ’ōhi‘a wood and/or ’ōhi‘a plant parts. If you are in the forests on Hawai’i or Kaua’i Island, please avoid the known contaminated areas (updated map) and follow the below decontamination protocols after every visit to any forest on Hawai’i Island.
*Clean your gear, clothing and shoes (and pets) when hunting, hiking, or gathering. Dip your soles of shoes or spray them with 70% rubbing alcohol and wash clothes in hot water and detergent.
*Wash your vehicle with detergent if you’ve traveled off-road.
Travel Responsibly: Declare ALL produce, plants, seeds, soil, sand, and animals when entering the state and traveling between islands. This applies to shipping packages too. Find out more at: Hawaii Department of Agriculture-travel&shipping.
*Quarantine on movement of all ohia products and soil from Hawai’i Island in response to Rapid ’Ōhi‘a Death. In effort to contain the fungus causing the disease that is killing ’ōhi‘a trees, permits are required to move any ’ōhi‘a products from Hawai‘i Island. www.RapidOhiaDeath.org
Plant native or non-invasive species: Ask for native or non-invasive plants to landscape your yard. Native plants provide habitat for Hawaii’s unique native birds and insects, promoting a healthy ecosystem and maintaining important environmental services, such as clean water. Learn how to “plant pono” by checking the potential weediness of plants using the Hawai‘i Weed Risk Assessment tool at: Plant Pono website.
Buy Local: Alien fungi, insect pests, and agricultural diseases can hide in imported produce. Buying local help boost the economy and protect Hawaii’s farmers.
Be a Responsible Pet Owner: Exotic pets such a parrots and Jackson’s Chameleons were never part of Hawaii’s native ecosystem and become pests when they are released. Keep pests contained and give unwanted pets to animal shelters or return them to the pet store.
Some animals are illegal to keep in Hawai‘i because of the danger they pose if they were intentionally or unintentionally released. Keeping illegal animals in Hawaii can come with steep fines and even jail time. To further prevent releases of dangerous animals into the wild, The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s Amnesty Program allow people to turn in prohibited animals (prior to an investigation) without any penalties, nor are the animals euthanized.
Anyone with information regarding illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the State’s Toll-Free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST(7378)
Volunteer! There are so many opportunities on O‘ahu to help preserve, conserve and restore our unique environment, while protecting our health, economy, and quality of life. From beach clean-ups to weed pulls…you can meet interesting people and feel great about protecting our beautiful home. OISC conducts a volunteer trip at Lyon Arboretum the second Saturday of each month. Find our more and sign up to help keep forest invaders out of our watersheds!