Mahalo Aina

archived
  • Hosted by Christopher Phillips

Mahalo ʻĀina is a 13-week series of reports designed to raise awareness of the many environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits provided by Hawaiʻi's forests and the need for human responsibility in protecting and perpetuating these ecosystems.

The 90-second Mahalo ʻĀina vignettes air each weekday on Morning Edition (HPR-1) at 8:18 a.m. The 65 episodes will re-run on HPR-2 starting August 3, 2015 at 3:58 p.m

The series is hosted and written by Christopher Phillips, a science communication and education specialist whose work focuses on scientific issues affecting society in the 21st Century. His work has been featured in diverse fields, such as astronomy, climate change, and technological development.

The series is a collaboration between

Hawaiʻi Forest Institute
Hawaiʻi Forest Industry Association
County of Hawaiʻi Department of Research and Development
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Atherton Family Foundation
State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Kamehameha Schools
and Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

HFIA
HFIA

The philosophy of Mahalo ʻĀina is simple: to help ensure a thriving future for forest restoration and education programs.  The forest provides us with environmental, economic, and cultural benefits, but we must also understand that we must give back to the forest.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Hawaiʻi has been called by some 'the endangered species capital of the world', but it may not be known as such for long.  There is a group of people working to stem the tide of plant species loss in the islands.  They are the men and women of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

Fountain Grass originates from Africa and was introduced to Hawaiʻi Island in the 20th century.  It has become a major threat due to its adaptation to fire.  The wild fires that sometimes rage on the Kona coast destroy native plants and clear the way for fountain grass to move in.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Palila bird is a small, unassuming bird with a magnificent golden crown and breast.  Despite it's modest size, it is royalty among native species and an icon for bird conservation in the Hawaiian Islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wildfires

Feb 3, 2016
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Wildfires are an issue for all islands in the state. The destruction caused by wildfires can potentially affect everything from native forests, watersheds, and agricultural production through to drinking water, cultural resources, and of course human safety.  The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization is dedicated to controlling the wildfire threat.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Watershed

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The forested watershed is the well from which life in the islands spring. Without it soils would erode into the oceans, coral reefs and fishing would be devastated. Water supplies would vanish, leaving the islands exposed to threats such as drought, a consequence of which would be immeasurable economic and environmental chaos.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Big Island Invasive Species Committee
Big Island Invasive Species Committee

Invasive species threaten the well being of native flora and fauna. This threat takes many forms, a fungus, a disease, a plant or animal. The legacy of the presence of invasive species is felt across the islands. On Hawai'i island, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is conducting outreach and education projects, and building strategies to combat invasive species.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Hoary Bat

Feb 3, 2016
Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Hoary Bat is Hawaiʻi's only native land mammal. It can be found throughout a variety of terrain and elevations, from sea level to the summits of Hawaiʻi's highest mountains. The Hoary Bat population has suffered tremendous decline due to habitat destruction, pesticides, and predation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

Many shipments of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest have been found to be riddled with slugs, which can carry a dangerous parasite that can prove deadly to humans. To combat this threat, the Hawaiʻi Forest Institute has started a local Christmas tree demonstration project called ʻĀina Mauna Christmas. 

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The ʻōhiʻa tree is a statewide symbol of Hawaiʻi's forests. Over the past five years, ʻōhiʻa appear to be dying rapidly and under mysterious circumstances from a microscopic enemy. By limiting the transport of diseased woods, we can stop the disease making its way to other islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Koa Forest

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Prized for its beautiful wood product, koa is one of the most valuable woods on the planet. Restoring koa forests is a profitable practice. Economics, in part, is driving the conservation and restoration of this legendary tree.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Silversword

Feb 3, 2016
Jane Peterson
Jane Peterson

The Silversword is uniquely adapted to life on the high altitude volcanic substrate of Hawaiʻi's mountains. An extensive conservation effort is underway to preserve these plants in the wild.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The designation of state flower would lead one to believe that the Hawaiian Hibiscus is prolific amongst the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, the populations of these plants are staggeringly small. The primary reason: habitat degradation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service

nce described as the most common native land bird to be found on the island, the Oʻahu ʻelepaio has now become an endangered species. Through the Endangered Species Act, five areas of critical habitat have been designated for the bird.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The breeding cycle of the Hawaiian Hawk leaves it vulnerable to the decline that is faced by raptors the world over. The Io is now the subject of intense study by conservationists seeking to better understand the bird itself, its breeding habits, survival, and populations.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

What happens when two species humans are acting to preserve clash head on? This is the case with the Alala, the Hawaiian Crow, and the Io, the Hawaiian Hawk.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

We are all stewards of the ʻāina; we cannot rely on conservationists alone to shoulder the burden.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

When we think of forests under threat, we often think of the tropical rainforest; however, on the island of Hawaiʻi, it is the dryland forest that is far more endangered.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Pollinators

Feb 3, 2016
www.uhbeeproject.com/
www.uhbeeproject.com/

The pollinators are the work horse of the forest. They are the mammals, birds, and insects that perform the invaluable act of pollination. The pollinators themselves are not without their enemies in the natural world.

Christopher Phillips explains...

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service

The Pueo, sometimes called the Hawaiian owl, are an endangered species on Oʻahu, where they are threatened by ground-based predators and urban development, including light pollution. The Hakalau Forest on the windward slope of Mauna Kea provides a safe habitat for the Pueo to make a comeback.

Christopher Phillips explains...

ʻIʻiwi

Feb 3, 2016
www.mauiforestbirds.org
www.mauiforestbirds.org.

The ʻiʻiwi is one of the most remarkable examples of evolutionary adaptation in the Hawaiian islands. Once found in abundance on each of the isalnds, it is now extinct on Lanaʻi and facing hardship on Oʻahu and Molokaʻi.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Sandalwood

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Sandalwood, prized for its mystical powers of healing, is used in ritual proceedings and alternative medicine across Asia. In Hawaiʻi, trade in this valuable wood brought about the collapse of tree populations by 1830. While the sandalwood trade is long gone, a surviving sandalwood forest exists in a 120,000 acre region on the island of Hawaiʻi.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Formed in 1997, the goal of the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project is to protect and preserve the numerous endangered birds that inhabit the forests of the island.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The Hawaiʻi Public Seed Initiative aims to improve, increase, and promote biodiversity of crops across the state. By working with local communities, farmers, and gardeners, the Initiative aims to grow, harvest, store, and improve the very best seeds that thrive in Hawaiʻi. This will ensure that local producers can continue to provide locally grown -- not flown -- produce for island dinner tables.

Christopher Phillips explains...

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife

The Kaʻu coast on the southwestern corner of the Hawaiʻi island is one of the largest and most intact expanse of native forest in the state. This Kaʻu Preserve is home to many rare plants and endangered forest birds. Local communities and landowners are doing their part to protect the forest.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Jill Wagner
Jill Wagner

The banking of seeds is a vital tool in the campaign to protect Hawaiʻi's forests. Hawaʻi Forest Institute's Hawaiʻi Island Native Seed Bank specializes in rare, threatened, and endangered species. This genetic safety net will provide native species with a valuable insurance policy.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Kauaʻi Coqui

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The Coqui frog threat is far more serious than mere noise pollution. It dines on unique species of spiders and insects and competes with endemic birds and other native fauna. On the Garden Isle, the Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee has successfully managed to eradicate an army of invading Coqui frogs.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday
J.B. Friday

The slopes of Mauna Kea shelter a variety of ecosystems that are as diverse as any in the Hawaiian Islands. The Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project is an effort to protect the precious forest environment and reverse the destructive trends of the past.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Nurseries

Feb 3, 2016
Jill Wagner
Jill Wagner

There are a number of private nurseries in the state which contribute to preserving the rich natural tapestry of Hawaiʻi's forests. They can scale up their nursery operations, supplying vast numbers of plants for use in crisis situations.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Koa Wilt

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The species of the Hawaiian forests are faced with a variety of different threats to their health and survival. One of the hardest threats to combat is that of disease. The majestic Koa tree is under attack from a microscopic enemy.

Christopher Phillips explains...

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