Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Sue and Settle: Feds Agree to Designate Critical Habitat for another 49 Hawaii Species
By Court House News @ 5:37 AM :: 2197 Views :: Environment, Land Use

Feds to designate new critical habitats for endangered Hawaiian species

Over six years of delays from the Fish and Wildlife Service prompted conservationists to push for the designation of special protective habitats for native Hawaiian species.

by Candace Cheung, Court House News, April 17, 2023

HONOLULU (CN) — 49 endangered plant and animal species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands can now celebrate gaining increased protections to preserve their quickly dwindling populations following discussions between conservations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency and the Center for Biological Diversity reached an agreement Monday to finally designate critical habitats for 39 plant and 10 animal species on the islands, over six years since Fish and Wildlife first categorized them as endangered.

“I’m glad these fragile Hawaiian species will finally get the habitat protections they desperately need to survive,” said Center for Biological Diversity attorney and Hawaii director Maxx Phillips in a statement. “There’s just no way these special plants and animals can recover if we don’t protect their homes.

According to The Center, the Fish and Wildlife Service has until June 30, 2028 to officially designate habitats for 46 of the 49 species. The ‘Akē‘akē, or band-rumped storm petrel, the anchialine pool shrimp and Baker’s loulu palm tree have a separate deadline of June 30, 2027.

Per the Endangered Species Act, federal agencies are required to designate a critical habitat for a species in concurrence the species endangered determination. In special instances, critical habitat designation can be deferred for a maximum of one year.

The 49 species were first listed as endangered in 2016. After a six-year delay and with no indication that the Service had critical habitat designation in the works for the imperiled species, the Center was forced to take action against the agency.

The Center filed suit against the agency, its director Martha Williams and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in August 2022, calling out the years of delay in designating special areas dedicated to conservation of the endangered species.

“Hawai‘i is in the midst of an extinction crisis, and habitat destruction is the number one cause,” Phillips said. “Protecting the places these unique plants and animals require for survival is crucial in our fight to keep them from going extinct.”

Due to the state’s isolated location, Hawaii is home to one of the world’s highest number of native species, many of them endemic to the islands and therefore considered endangered.

The 39 plant and 10 animal species have been increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change, increased human intervention, and the introduction of invasive species. Many are also particularly vulnerable due to their already diminished populations and habitats.

Protections will now extend for a multitude of native flora and fauna, many of them key parts of the delicate Hawaiian ecosystem, including several ferns and shrubs essential for maintaining Hawaii’s forests and watersheds, as well as the Hawaiian yellow-faced bee. Known in Hawaiian as nalo meli maoli, the bee is considered pollinator adapted especially for Hawaii’s native vegetation. Many of the species are also important in Native Hawaiian cultural and spiritual practices.

The agreement regarding these 49 endangered species follows a similar settlement from 2020 between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for 12 Hawaii Island endangered species. The agency released an initial proposal for several thousand acres of land on the Big Island to be set aside for conservation purposes in March.


March, 2023: Sue and Settle: 122,277 acres on Big Island to be 'critical habitat'


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii