UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit Receives $400,000 to Support Invasive Species Committees Throughout Hawaiian Islands

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Dec 2, 2002

The Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU) of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa recently received $150,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and $250,000 from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation through the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species. The money will be distributed to the Invasive Species Committees on Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, and the Big Island.

PCSU, working with the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi, provides logistic and personnel support for the committees, allowing them to focus on putting teams into the field to try to control alien invasive species found in the islands such as coqui frogs, miconia, fountain grass, and fire ants, and to help to prevent invasions of species not yet here, such as the imported fire ant, brown tree snake and West Nile virus.

The committees are coalitions of state, federal and private organizations that have recognized the need to protect the land and its people from invasive species. Member organizations include private landowners, the Nature Conservancy, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each island has its own steering group that decides on its own priorities and uses its budget to attack its problem species.

The Invasive Species Committees are among over 180 projects run by PCSU, which is part of the Department of Botany in the College of Natural Sciences at UH Mānoa. PCSU is a cooperative project between the university, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. The unit conducts basic and applied research on conservation biology and management of Hawaiʻi‘s natural resources. It employs over 200 researchers, students and technicians, providing jobs in parts of the state where economic opportunities are otherwise limited.