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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United States of America


  General Description   This biosphere reserve comprises Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks on the Hawaiian Islands. Ecosystems are very diverse, varying from rain forest to desert scrub and coastal strand to alpine. A spectrum of tropical environments, ranging from persistently or seasonably wet to dry, is found in Hawaii, which explains the floral diversity. Volcanism encourages the emergence of diversity, resulting in a mosaic of successional and climax stages throughout the biosphere reserve.
The islands have had a global importance in the history of evolutionary biology and are continuing to serve as crucial sites for evolutionary studies. Apart from research, the biosphere reserve focuses on the protection and management of the endemic biological diversity and public education on Hawaiian natural history. The long-term protection of Hawaiian’s nature is crucial to its tourism industry.
Alien species constitutes a major problem for nature conservation. The Hawaii Islands’ evolutionary isolation from the continents, and their modern role as a commercial hub of the Pacific, make them particularly vulnerable to invasion by alien species. Among the species documented in the Hawaiian Ecosystem at Risk (HEAR) project is the fire tree (Myrica faya), a native of the Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira. As actinorrhizal nitrogen fixer, M. faya poses a serious threat to native plants on young volcanic sites, where it forms dense, single-species stands with an understorey devoid of other plant life.
The biosphere reserve is a major player in numerous partnerships to control alien species. One example is the East Maui Watershed Partnership which facilitates the control of the alien tree Miconia calvescens and the removal of feral pigs from biologically diverse watershed areas.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed island systems
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   19°11' to 19°33'N; 155°01' to 155°39'W; 20°39' to 20°47'N; 156°02' to 156°16'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   99,545
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +4,170
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   US Federal Government, National Park Service
  Brief description   Rehabilitation of species
Alien species control methods
Restoration technique research
Ecosystem recovery monitoring
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Alien/Invasive/Exotic/Introduced species, methodologies, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address    
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
96718-0052 Hawaii Volcanoes
United States of America
  Telephone   (1.808) 985 6000
(1.808) 985 6026
  Fax   (1.808) 985 6004
(1.808) 967 8186
  Web site
  Contact address    
Haleakala National Park
P.O. Box 369
HI 96768 Makawao, Maui
United States of America
  Telephone   (1.808) 572 4400

Last updated: 11/03/2005

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