Astelia waialealae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Liliales Asteliaceae

Scientific Name: Astelia waialealae Wawra
Taxonomic Source(s): Wagner, W.L., Herbst, D.R. and Lorence, D.H. 2005 onwards. Flora of the Hawaiian Islands website. Available at:
Identification information: Monocot.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-06-11
Assessor(s): Bruegmann, M., Caraway, V.L. & Clark, M.
Reviewer(s): Walsh, S.
Contributor(s): Nyberg, B. & Wood, K.
Astelia waialealae is assessed as Critically Endangered. Three subpopulations remain, with 10 mature individuals in total among them. In recent years, most of the bogs have been heavily damaged by feral pigs. Alien invasive plants also pose a threat, and pollination may not be sufficient to produce viable seeds to allow the species to regenerate on its own.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, between 1,250 and 1,500 m elevation on the island of Kauaʻi. Found only within the Alakaʻi Swamp area.

Countries occurrence:
United States (Hawaiian Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:13
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):1250
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In 1997, Astelia waialealae was known from three separate locations within the Alakaʻi Swamp, comprising 16 individuals: a) Sincock Bog with five individuals in two separate clumps; b) Waikoali Circle Bog with eight individuals in three separate clumps; c) Waialealae region with three individuals in one clump. In 2016, ten individuals are known from among five subpopulations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
No. of subpopulations:3
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The taxon is a rhizomatous perennial herb found in open Hawaiian montane bogs dominated by Metrosideros polymorpha and Oreobolus furcatus. Other associated native plant species include Rhyncospora spicaeformis ssp. chinensis, Dubautia paleata, Cheirodendron trigynum, Carex montis-eeka, Drosera anglica, Vaccinium calycinum, Cibotium sp., Viola kauaiensis var. kauaiensis, Coprosma elliptica,  Dicranopteris linearis, Dichanthelium isachnoides, Leptecophylla tameiameiae, and Lysimachia daphnoides.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In recent years, most of the bogs have been heavily damaged by feral pigs. Circle Bog is fenced, but fence damage sometimes allows pigs to gain access in. Human disturbance in the form of fire has damaged one bog within the last three years. Invasive introduced plants including Juncus planifolius, Xyris camplanata, Schizachyrium condensatum, also pose a threat. The species is dioecious, and lack of pollination is thought to result in poor seed set. Fortini et al. (2013) characterized this taxon as extremely vulnerable to climate change (vulnerability index 0.896).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Astelia waialealae is listed as Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act. It is also listed by the State of Hawaiʻi. It is monitored by the Hawaiʻi State Plant Extinction Prevention Program. All remaining individuals are within small fenced, weeded, and monitored areas.

Citation: Bruegmann, M., Caraway, V.L. & Clark, M. 2016. Astelia waialealae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T44079A83794760. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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