Dune Restoration and Creation Project

 The 20-foot dunes that rim Green Island on the west side are higher and more extensive than any other Northwestern Hawaiian Island dunes.

The integrity and function of Kure’s important dune-shrub complex are threatened by invasive plants that out-compete the native dune-stabilizing shrub Scaevola taccada (Naupaka). The main priority for dune creation and stabilization focus directly on sand retention with native grasses and plants. 

The dunes are also considered critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal because they rest and pup in the dunes where they are protected from storms and sun.  Weed eradication and expanding the resilient native plant community supports wildlife and reduces storm/climate change damage. 

The main long-term conservation outcomes are to:

  • Expand the resilient native plant community
  • Increase breeding seabird population
  • Increase shorebird foraging habitat
  • Increase population and foraging habitat of Laysan Ducks
  • Increase native plant and invertebrate biological diversity

Habitat Restoration

Native Plant Restoration Project

Itʻs not enough to pull weeds and leave an area open for non-natives to aggressively colonize an area, one must also fastidiously out plant natives in these areas to gain a foothold prior to the onset of non-natives recruiting in these places. In conjunction with the eradication project, the native plant restoration project promotes the recovery of native plant communities that support seabird nesting.

Invasive Plant and Tree Eradication Project

Verbesina encelioides is the State of Hawaiʻi’s top management priority for Kure Atoll Conservancy. It is a monotypic (single species) stand of tall, nearly impenetrable vegetation and, for 55 years, has directly displaced ten seabird species.