Ministry of Land and Natural Resources



23/10/27 – State releases draft environmental assessment proposing trial release of “Ararachi” in eastern Maui

Posted: October 27, 2023 in Forestry and Wildlife, Main, News Release, Slider

Dr. Josh Green

Dawn Chan

For immediate release

October 27, 2023

State releases draft environmental assessment proposing PCivil Liberation of “Alara” in East Maui

(Honolulu) – The DLNR Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a draft environmental assessment for the trial release of “alala” or Hawaiian crows on eastern Maui. . A draft EA can participate in public comments for his 37 days.

Maui’s Alala Project is a collaborative effort to understand habitat needs and unlock ways for Alala to survive and reproduce in the wild. This applies to the recovery of the species and the return of “alala” to its cultural role in Hawaii’s forests. i. The draft EA evaluates Kipahulu Forest Reserve and Koolau Forest Reserve as potential release sites and also considers impacts to adjacent private lands and the National Park Service. Partners involved in coordinating the trial release were Haleakala National Park, University of Hawaii Pacific Cooperative Research Unit, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, Alara Project, and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

This multi-stakeholder pilot project will allow managers to assess whether alala breeds in the wet forests of eastern Maui and survives better in habitats lacking Io and Hawaiian hawks. . The draft EA provides background information on how Alara will be released and identifies proposed actions to avoid and minimize potential adverse effects of a test release within the East Maui project area. It provides an overview of the impact and strategy.

The endangered ‘alala’ is tied to important aspects of Hawaii’s forest life. The seeds they eat and disperse support native plant species, and their reintroduction will play an important role in restoring Hawaii’s entire forest ecosystem. In Hawaiian culture, “Alala” is considered “Aumakua” and is considered important to the religious and cultural practices of Native Hawaiians.

Alala was historically found on the Big Island of Hawaii and currently survives only in captivity at two conservation breeding centers, one on the Big Island and one on eastern Maui. Since 1992, there have been three attempts to release alala on Hawai’i Island, one in the 1990s on the leeward side of the island, and another in the Pu’u Makaala Sanctuary on Hawai’i’s windward side from 2016 to 2020. Two movements using the approach were made. The attempt failed, mainly due to the released “Arara” being preyed upon by “Io”. Although forest conditions in eastern Maui are typically wetter than in alala’s historical habitat, there are also habitats in eastern Maui that are free of alala.

The draft environmental assessment is available on the DOFAW website: This website includes a form that you can use to submit comments to the resource agency.

  • The public comment period will begin on October 23, 2023 and end on November 29, 2023.
  • Public comments can also be emailed directly to: [email protected] or

Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Attn: `Alalā Project, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813.

A public meeting will be held on November 8, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Kula Community Center, E. Lower Kula Rd. At Kula. Resource agency staff and partners will be in attendance to discuss the project with community members and provide technical assistance in submitting public comments.

All public comments must be submitted or postmarked by November 29, 2023.

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Draft environmental assessment for pilot release of “Alalā”:

“Alara Project”:


Media contact:

ryan aguilar

communication specialist

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]

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