Sunday, October 21, 2001

Isles awarded $2.8 million
to save species

Star-Bulletin staff

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Hawaii nearly $2.8 million in grants to promote conservation of threatened and endangered species.

The award was part of more than $26 million that was made available to various states under four new types of Endangered Species Act grants.

The largest block of funds for Hawaii was awarded through the Safe Harbor grant. These grants provide funding to states for planning, development and implementation of Safe Harbor Agreements for listed species on state, private and other non-federal lands. More than $1 million was awarded to Hawaii to fund 13 different projects.

Under the Candidate Conservation Agreement grant, Hawaii will also receive $981,899 to address the needs of species not yet listed as threatened or endangered but are in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Through the Recovery Land Acquisition grant, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources was awarded $150,000 to purchase five remaining inholdings at Kaena Point on Oahu to create one large tract of land for the conservation of 12 federally listed species. The habitat within the acquired land represents one of the last intact dune and boulder slope ecosystems in the main Hawaiian Islands.

Lastly, Hawaii will receive $517,134 under the Habitat Conservation Plan development and implementation assistance to conserve threatened or endangered species through the landowner's interest to use and develop their property. Of that sum, $363,296 will be provided to help develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for game mammal management in North Kona. The plan will help management and recovery actions for up to 34 listed plants, 10 listed animals and 14 species.

The remaining $153,838 will enable partners to conduct surveys and develop habitat conservation strategies for the Hawaiian hoary bat, the only surviving land mammal native to the Hawaiian archipelago.

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