|A new study by University of Hawaiʻi's Thomson Lab has been published by the National Academy|
of Sciences, showing worldwide threats to the future of turtles. Photo from Thomson Lab
Other factors affecting their survival rates are the hunting of turtles for food and traditional medicine, and the heavy development of coastal and waterfront areas by humans that greatly reduced their habitats.
|A crowd gathers at Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach to watch hawksbill|
hatchlings rescued at the lifeguard stand in 2018. Photo by Annie Bosted
“Turtles face a daunting future,” Thomson said. “The group contains relatively few species to begin with, and the majority of these are subject to serious conservation risk. As habitat loss, human exploitation of wild populations and climate change continue, this situation will become more dire.”
Thomson added, “This study taught us that coastal areas served as key evolutionary cradles for turtle diversity. We also know that coastal areas suffer disproportionately from habitat modification and from ongoing climate change. The big challenge, as it is for virtually all conservation issues, is finding the political will to take the steps that need to be taken before it is too late. Globally, we have to be doing more to protect habitats and to avert the worst impacts of climate change.”
Concerning Impact in Hawaiʻi, Thomson said that green sea turtles are very common and several freshwater species have also been introduced. These include the red eared slider, a common species found in the pet trade, and three species of softshell turtles that are native to Asia and were introduced in the late 1800s. Thomson said that researchers and the public may already be seeing the effects of climate change on the local sea turtle population.
|Keiki watch hatchlings head to the ocean past footprints|
of many beachgoers at Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach in 2018.
Photo by Annie Bosted
Thomson said the research resulted in a comprehensive phylogenetic tree (branching diagram that illustrates evolutionary relationships) for turtles that clarifies when and how they evolved into the diversity seen today. These diagrams include information on how species are interrelated and when they evolved into separate species. Documenting this information is important to understand how past events may have influenced the evolution of turtles.
The research team, including Thomson, and Phillip Spinks and Brad Shaffer from UCLA, established the turtle tree by collecting and assembling DNA samples from 591 living turtles that make up 80 percent of all living turtle species. They analyzed the samples to determine similarities and differences among species, and also used fossil records for turtles to discover when lineages evolved and declined.
For more on Thomson’s research at UH Mānoa, visit the Thomson Lab website.
|A hawksbill hatchling heads out to see from Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach in 2018. Photo by Peter Bosted|
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MAYOR MITCH ROTH signed a Sixth Supplementary Emergency Management and Disaster Relief Proclamation today declaring a continued state of emergency on Hawaiʻi Island through April 12 due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The proclamation maintains all restrictions and safety protocols currently in place, with no changes. Changes to the April 12 extension can be made if terminated or superseded by a separate proclamation, or whichever occurs first. This proclamation was made in concurrence with the Office of the Governor and the State of Hawaiʻi.
The proclamation also includes mention of an anticipated new exception for vaccinated travelers that will become effective only upon approval by the director of the Hawai'i Emergency Management Agency. This exception is not available as of today.
"The state is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is asking the CDC for explicit guidelines on vaccination and travel. This EP acknowledges vaccinated travelers/quarantine as a future exception, but the state will wait for specific guidance from the CDC before implementing a quarantine exception for vaccinated travelers," said the governor.
This week, the CDC updated its guidelines for vaccinated individuals exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The vaccinated individuals who are exposed are no longer required to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:
*Are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and are at least 14 days beyond completion of the vaccine series.
*Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
The 18th emergency proclamation also adds that government agencies may rely on the suspension of the Uniform Information Practices Act when they meet certain specifications and fulfill a number of requirements. The suspension of the UIPA, the state's open records law, is evolving.
"This open records law suspension balances the incredible amount of time and effort government agencies are expending on responding to the pandemic and the importance of access to government records," said Ige. The 18th emergency proclamation expires in 60 days, on April 13.
To view the 18th emergency proclamation click on the link: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2102078-ATG_Eighteenth-Proclamation-Related-to-the-COVID-19-Emergency-distribution-signed.pdf
FIVE NEW COVID-19 CASES ON THIS ISLAND and one hospitalization are reported today by the state Department of Health. Across the state, 33 cases were reported on Oʻahu, 25 on Maui, zero on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi. Seven Hawaiʻi residents were diagnosed out of state. Department of Health reports 236,649 vaccinations for COVID-19 have been administered statewide.
KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items.
Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Should anyone have an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at firstname.lastname@example.org
WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email email@example.com. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222
VOLCANO GARDEN ART'S SECRET GARDEN WALK is on free trails to the public. Sponsor Ira Ona describes the “Historical garden with many native plants. We have just created a self-guided nature walk in my new secret garden which is carved out of an upland native Hawaiian forest. Open to walk throughout the week, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanogardenarts.com, 985-8979, Located on Old Volcano Hwy in Volcano Village.
KaiLoki's, at the old Mehe's location in Ocean View, offers live music and karaoke on a to-be-determined schedule, along with a locally-sourced menu and bar. See facebook.com/KaiLokis.
Free Lifetime Entry for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks. Details at rb.gy/k3evh6.
|Volcano Farmers Market. Photo by Julia Neal|
VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222.
KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252
MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nāʻālehu.
KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email email@example.com.
Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issues, through Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Financial Navigators from County of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Complete webform at hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center or call 808-933-6600. Contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019 with questions.
CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM enrollment ends Feb. 12. Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program can sign up for the program until Friday, Feb. 12. The competitive program provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation.
Contact AskUSDA at (833) ONE-USDA with representatives available 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. The website, ask.usda.gov is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women Farmers can Register with Hawaiʻi Women Farmers Directory, a statewide online directory of women-operated farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Visit the program website to register, rb.gy/87fn9d.
Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. Learn more at rb.gy/exzuk1.
Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website, ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.
Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begin and Ends with Seed, where Education by Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog at rb.gy/ijai3y.
Find Grants and Loans Offered to Farmers and Ranchers, at oahuaca.org. The website has a new search feature. Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii.
Learn Basics of Organic Farming, via free modules at rb.gy/4wio2y.
PETS & WILDLIFE
One-Time Emergency Food For Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.
Report Humpback Whales in Trouble at NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline, 1-888- 256-984. Also report distressed sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins.
hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email email@example.com. Call 808-217- 0154. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and are open to healthy dogs and cats. Two pets per family will be accommodated, each pet with own appointment. Unavailable to animals other than dogs and cats. Unavailable to strays and those with contagious illnesses.
Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Recycling services available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. "White goods" appliance collection services will accept one appliance per resident per day. Customers need to check in with the facility attendant before dropping an appliance off at the facility. No unattended drop-offs allowed. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270.
Ocean View Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection will continue as usual on Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270.
Sign Up for Solid Waste Operations Alerts at rb.gy/iemgrc for site closures, service hours, and more.