Restoration of Lehua’s terrestrial environment can benefit the island’s surrounding marine ecosystem.
Research has shown that restoration of native island ecosystems is vital to the health of surrounding marine ecosystems. Lehua Island is no exception; where the water meets the shore two very different yet connected environments interact. The health of one is crucial to the health of the other.
Connectivity between the health of terrestrial species and marine environment has been documented in the Line Islands where an island with native species showed clear signs of healthier marine habitat than islands with non-native species. Research has shown that in the Line Islands, thriving native vegetation corresponds with Manta Ray abundance. These ecological systems are held together by natural linkages that have formed over millennia. Seabirds, trading off time on land and time at sea, facilitate exchange of nutrients between these environments. Seabird vitality is therefore highly important for the integrity of these connections.
Introductions of non-native species can rapidly dissolve those interactions. Conservation efforts on Lehua Island are aimed at protecting native terrestrial species which will, in turn, allow the surrounding marine environment to thrive.
Featured photo: Lehua Island Shoreline. Credit: Island Conservation
- Join Island Conservation at Santa Cruz Works Get Biotech Event - August 26, 2019
- Nature Features GBIRd—The Promise of Gene Drives - July 10, 2019
- A New Toolkit to Accelerate Ocean Conservation: Ocean Genomic Horizon Scan - June 26, 2019
- BBC News: When Sustainable Tourism Works - June 4, 2019
- Earth Day Every Day—Six Bright Spots in Conservation - April 22, 2019
- 169 Islands that Offer Hope for Stemming the Extinction Crisis - March 26, 2019
- Press Release: Six Main Threats Drive Global Seabird Decline - March 18, 2019
- Your Chance to Help Protect Paradise on Lord Howe Island - March 14, 2019
- Protecting Land and Sea – Conservation on Ulithi Atoll - March 5, 2019
- Protecting Midway’s Seabirds - February 19, 2019