Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wiliwili comeback and the drought takes a break.

The wiliwili are back.
In 2005, when the gall wasps were first found in Hawaii, it appeared that "saving the wiliwili [was] in doubt." Five years later, all the introduced coral trees, relatives of the wiliwili, are gone, at least from Kona, but the natives in Pu'uwa'awa'a seem to be back.
Heroic Department of Agriculture entomologist Mohsen Ramadan identified a predator wasp in East Africa. Moving with amazing speed, the state Department of Agriculture released the predator wasps on every island in late November 2008. Government working as it should.
Two years later, this little tree just off the Halapepe Trail at Pu'uwa'awa'a looks just fine:

Future generations owe a debt to Ramadan and the other government workers who found a way to save this beautiful native tree.

As usual, I'm way behind the curve. Our Green Maui announced six months ago, with admirable alliteration, that "The Wiliwili War is Won."
The photo above and the one below are of a small stand of wiliwili just mauka of the highway about three miles south of the entrance to Pu'uwa'awa'a Ranch.

On a related note, at least as far as the lands between Kailua and Waimea, the drought seems to be taking a break, at least. Pu'uwa'awa'a Ranch has been bone-dry, but now there's an undertone of green coming through. The countryside just south of Waikoloa is even greener.

Finally, an ohia lehua on a hillside at 5800' and the moon,

and a really big halapepe plant, just off the eponymous trail.

As always, click on a photo for larger images.
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