Rich high Hawaiian island Kaua’i provides a unique habitat to new tree species which is determined as Critically Endangered according to the criteria set by IUCN. The new species were first collected and documented in 1988. The scientific name of it is Melicope stonei (Rutaceae or citrus family).
The new specie is evidently restricted to unique old growth forest that holds a combination of tree species that are solely found in Kaua’i. Deeply eroded drainages, well – defined canyons and astonishing tall coastal sea-cliffs are found in the oldest high Hawaiian volcanic island of Kaua’i. It is reported that Melicope stonei has become the 249th endemic plant species known from only Kaua’i.
Habitats are getting degraded by the introduction of pigs and deer, predation of seeds by rats, environmental issues such as hurricanes, man-made fires and competition with invasive non-endemic plant species. Such threats have endangered the new species and their unique home.
By: Bhavna Sharma