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Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) is a species of flowering tree that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. It is the only species of Erythrina that naturally occurs there. It is typically found in dry forests on leeward island slopes up to an elevation of 600 m (2,000 ft). The Hawaiian name, wiliwili, means repeatedly twisted and refers to the seed pods which twist open to reveal the seeds.

Native Species Biology

The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of volcanoes which erupted from the ocean floor in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They are 3,800 kilometers (2,400 miles) from the nearest continental shores and so all terrestrial plants and animals had to arrive by chance blown by the wind, carried by currents, or borne by birds. When they arrived in an empty landscape they diversified in a series of adaptive radiations far more prolific and extreme than that of the Galapagos finches that inspired Darwin. Hawaii contains a range of habitats from warm, coastal lowlands to alpine mountaintops, from drenched rainforests to parched lava deserts. Native species have expanded and adapted to occupy all these habitats, and today Hawaii is home to a plethora of birds, plants, and insects found nowhere else in the world.




Project Lead Scientist
Rare Plant Limiting Factors Linda Pratt
Dry Forest Restoration Art Medeiros
Haleakala Silverswords Lloyd Loope
Pathogen Threats to Koa-Ohia Forest Lloyd Loope
Plant Distribution Maps Jim Jacobi
NPS Inventory & Monitoring Lloyd Loope| Jim Jacobi


Project Lead Scientist
Restoration of Soil Fauna David Foote
Damselfly Ecology David Foote| Dennis LaPointe
Anchialine Pool Fauna David Foote
NPS Inventory & Monitoring David Foote


Project Lead Scientist
Biocomplexity of Avian Disease Carter Atkinson | Dennis LaPointe
Palilia Restoration Paul Banko
Forest Bird Food Ecology Paul Banko | Linda Pratt
Forest Bird Ecology Eben Paxton
NPS Inventory & MonitorinFg Q-Hui
Inventory, Monitoring, & Population Modeling Q-Hui
Nene Ecology Steve Hess | Paul Banko
Laysan Teal Michelle Reynolds
Hawaiian Duck Michelle Reynolds
Northwestern Hawaiian Island Passerines Michelle Reynolds
Night-Flying Birds Frank Bonaccorso

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