Feral Animal Control at Nu'u
The National Park Service (NPS) in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) proposes to protect and restore 2,100 acres of habitat for native species on the leeward Haleakalā slope.
The area would include a large portion of the Nu'u parcel of Haleakalā National Park (HNP), and is targeted at providing additional breeding and nesting habitat for endangered 'ua'u (Hawaiian petrel, Pterodroma sandwichensis). Habitat restoration would be accomplished by conducting feral and introduced animal control. The 'ua'u is an endangered seabird endemic to Hawai'i, once abundant and widely distributed throughout the archipelago. Today, the largest known breeding colony is found at Haleakalā Crater on Maui, with other colonies on Mauna Loa, Hawai'i Island, Kaua'i and on the summit of Lāna'i.
Current threats to 'ua'u include habitat loss, predation by introduced mammals, groundings, and collision with man-made objects. The NPS has been working to restore 'ua'u populations by protecting their breeding habitats via feral ungulate exclusion and controlling predators within HNP since the 1970s. These management activities, combined with minimizing human disturbance and habitat restoration, have resulted in significant increases of reproductive success and survival of 'ua'u in the park.
The 4,178 acre Nu'u parcel of HNP was acquired by the NPS in 2008. Land degradation and loss of habitat caused by previous cattle grazing and the continued presence of feral goats, feral pigs, and axis deer are primary concerns for the area. Currently, ungulates trample landscapes and consume vegetation. Feral dogs, which may be attracted to feral ungulates as prey, are known to be present in the area. Feral dogs also prey on 'ua'u adults and nests, and are a safety hazard. With a recent grant from the NFWF and other funds from the NPS, there is an opportunity to restore the area and protect additional 'ua'u habitat.
The NPS will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for environmental analysis to provide a decision-making framework that explores a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives, evaluates potential issues and impacts to park resources and values, and identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts. An alternative to remove feral animals and a no action alternative are currently being evaluated.
Please see attached pdf file for more information, public meetings, and maps by clicking on DOCUMENT LIST above on the left.
Please provide all comments by close of business July 29, 2016.
Cathleen Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)