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Pww summit

ʻŌpeʻapeʻa are fast! This video is in slow motion to better show the ʻōpeʻapeʻa in flight above the reservoir at Puʻu Waʻawaʻa. The Hawaiian hoary bat is the state mammal of Hawaiʻi.

Nēnē are frequent visitors to the area around the reservoir at Puʻu Waʻawaʻa. The nēnē is the state bird of Hawaiʻi.

At one time there were roughly 30 nēnē left in the wild. Now there are over 2,000, and the species has recovered enough to be downlisted from "endangered" to "threatened" status. Learn about the recovery process from Raymond Maguire, a biologist with Forestry & Wildlife.

ʻAʻaliʻi (Dodonaea viscosa) A’ali’i is indigenous to Hawaiʻi and is one of the few native Hawaiian plants that can endure fires. Seeds of this tree will survive and grow in the burned area, making it a pioneer plant. A’ali’i is an early colonizer of lava flows. Early Hawaiians used this plant for medicinal purposes while the colorful seed capsules were used in lei. The black heartwood of this tree was traditionally used to craft canoes, weapons agricultural tools, and houses.

Wiliwili This species only exists in Hawaii and will grow in harsh environments where few species can survive. Wiliwili tree populations can have a variety of different colored flowers or be composed of flowers of a single color. Wiliwili trees are deciduous: they lose their foliage during the hottest summer months and return to life during the winter. The lightweight wood of the Wiliwili tree was used by early Hawaiians to build canoes, fishing gear containers, and surfboards. The wiliwili was saved from extinction thanks to a scientific tool called biocontrol: when it was threatened by an attacking, invasive wasp, scientists went to that wasp's home range and found another wasp that only attacked the invasive wasp. The scientists used the second wasp to control the first, and it reduced the attacks on wiliwili enough to allow the species to survive.

Hala pēpē (Dracaena konaensis) Hala pēpē belongs to the asparagus family along with some popular landscape plants like agave, tī, and dracaena (money tree). There are six endemic species of halē pepē, and D. konaensis is an endangered plant that can be found only in the dry to mesic forests of Hawaiʻi Island. Hala pēpē is an upright, sometimes branching dry forest tree. It has leaf scars in a spiral pattern up its stems, slender green leaves, and yellow flower clusters that produce red berries.

Uhiuhi (Mezoneuron kaviense) Uhiuhi is a rare species of flowering plant in the pea family that is endemic to Hawai’i. It is a shrub or small tree that reaches a height of 13 to 33 ft. It has pink to rose-colored sepals (protective petals around the flower bud) and red anthers (the part of the flower that produces pollen). Uhiuhi is a very valuable hardwood and is used for crafts, tools (‘o’o or digging stick, house posts, kapa beaters, la‘au kahi wauke or a board for scraping wauke to make kapa, sled runners, fish hooks, or octopus or fish spears), or weapons. (see link below for references)

Hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus hualalaiensis) Hibiscadelphus hualalaiensis is a tree in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It has whitish bark and can grow up to 23 ft tall. The leaf blades are heart‐shaped. The flowers are greenish yellow on the outside and yellowish green, fading to purplish within. The fruit is woody and the seeds have a dense covering of hairs. See link below for references.

Hōʻawa (Pittisporum hosmeri) Hōʻawa is a small tree that can grow up to 25 ft tall. It has long, thick leaves that are a bit leathery, and round fruits that are brilliant orange inside. This species is only found on Hawaiʻi Island. For more information and references, click the link below.

Moa (Psilotum nudum) Psilotum belong to the Whisk-fern family (Psilotaceae) with only two widespread species: Psilotum complanatum and Psilotum nudum which are both indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands. Psilotums lack roots and are usually found growing epiphytically or in rock crevices. The branching stems range in color from bright green to yellow or yellowish-orange depending on the habitat and amount of exposure to sunlight. In wet, shady areas moa grow to be greener, while those growing in drier, full sun conditions tend to be yellow.

ʻŪlei (Osteomeles anthyllidifolia) ʻŪlei belongs to the rose family and is often called Hawaiian rose because of its small and very fragrant white flowers. It is indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, and it can be found growing on all the main islands except Kahoʻolawe and Niʻihau. ʻŪlei is a shrubby plant that is usually found in dry environments. It has compound leaves, small white flowers, and it produces berries that are white when ripe.

Kokiʻo (Kokia drynarioides) A tree with lobed leaves with large scarlet flowers. Kokia drynarioides is one of four species in the genus and the only one found on the island of Hawai‘i. The sap of this rare tree has been used by Native Hawaiians to make red dyes for fishnets and its bark was used to treat thrush. In the early 1900s, botanists became concerned about the survival of this species and collected several pounds of seed that were later distributed to various gardens and arboreta for germination. Despite this, koki‘o has become increasingly rare so that there are now less than ten trees known to exist in the wild. This decline may have had severe impacts on organisms that rely on the species, such as the now‐endangered nectar drinking honeycreepers which depend on these trees for food.

On the day we visited the botanical trail, an ʻio glided overhead for quite some time. The ‘io, or Hawaiian hawk, is the only broad-winged hawk in Hawai‘i. ‘Io are considered ‘aumākua, or family gods, by some Native Hawaiians. Prior to the arrival of Polynesians, ‘io may have exclusively preyed on birds, including now extinct flightless ibis and rails. Its diet now includes non-native insects, birds, and rodents, as well as native insects and birds. ‘Io form monogamous long-term pair-bonds and defend territories year-round. (see link for references)

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