Critical habitat outing today

Volunteers are participating in an outing today to help restore the habitats for two federally protected blind invertebrates that live under the ground at the Kiahuna Golf Club in Po’ipu.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed critical habitat designations for about 4,000 acres in South Kauai for the Kaua’i cave wolf spider and the Kaua’i cave amphipod. Both species are blind because they live underground.

Saturday’s outing is being put on by the Kaua’i Native Plant Society.

The work is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and includes a briefing and some weeding around native plants.

The Kiahuna Golf Club has been responsible for planting native and endangered plants on the golf course to provide food for the amphipod, which is the primary prey for the spider.

The golf course is located in an area Fish and Wildlife, through its research, believes is a major habitat for the cave invertebrates.

The grounds of Kiahuna Golf Club is the home to the second largest population of endangered Kaua’i cave amphipods known to exist, according to government sources.

Only four caves are documented to contain this rare and endemic amphipod, and one of the caves is located by Tee 11 on the golf course.

The funding for the planting was provided through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program run through the Natural Resource Conservation Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information call Ellen Coulombe at 332-0145 or or Michelle Clark at 337-9220.


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