• 7 May 2014: 'Ulu, Koa and Nene in Kauai!

    7 May 2014:  'Ulu, Koa and Nene in Kauai!

    Today we had a day-long visit to Kauai on our agenda. Kauai is the oldest and northernmost island with population of only 67 000 people. This island is called the "Garden Isle" and is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs, aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls. Some parts of Kauai are only accesible by sea or air.

    We arrived at Lihue in the morning and drove to Limahuli Garden and Preserve. It is a recognized National Tropical Botanical Garden that has demonstrated sound environmental practices of water, soil and rare plant conservation. The property includes on plantation-era garden, as well as invasive species that were introduced by migrating humans. Behind the garden is the Limahuli Preserve where conservationists and restorartion biologists are working to preserve species native to the habitat. We met the director Mr Kawika Winter who introduced the garden for us.  His approach on conservation was very interesting as it was through cultural heritage and ancestors who came to island. Science and culture hand in hand. I leaned a new native tree in Hawaii, called  'Ulu.  I already knew Koa tree and found some of them in the preserve area!

    Seconrd meeting was at Kilauea Point. We examined a federal National Wildlife Refuge program at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which opened to visitors in 1985 to provide the general public an opportunity to experience and learn about a unique diversity of seabirds, native coastal plants, and visit the historic Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse. The ocean cliffs and open grassy slopes of an extinct volcano provide breeding grounds for native Hawaiian seabirds and nene, the endangered Hawaiian goose.  This place offers a possibility to view red-footed boobies, Laysan albatrosses, wedge-tailed shearwaters and other seabirds in their national habitat.  We saw seabirds and also nenes in the end of our meeting. What a day! Mahalo!

    Hibiscus greeted us at the airport!

    'Ulu, native tree in Hawaii.

    Kawika Winter, director of Limahuli Garden and Preserve

    Koa, another native tree.

    Behind us there is a sacred hill of local people.

    Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge