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Ohai (Sesbania tomentosa)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 192521859

Expanding an Emerging Population of Ohai (Sesbania tomentosa), an Endemic Hawaiian Coastal Legume

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 192521859) - Ohai - Awarded $12,500 on November 01, 2019

In 2015, North Shore Community Land Trust along with our partners including The Trust For Public Land facilitated the perpetual conservation of 634 acres of coastal land surrounding Kahuku Point, the northernmost point in Oahu, Hawaii. A 39-acre parcel of mostly intact coastal strand ecosystem was identified as the highest priority for restoration, and work commenced in 2015.

Once widespread throughout coastal and dry lowland regions of the Hawaiian Islands, Sesbania tomentosa, known in Hawaiian as ohai, is now confined to fragments of its former range (Cole, 2015). The conservation parcel at Kahuku Point included two wild individuals of S. tomentosa, as well as a population of its primary pollinator, the endangered and endemic Hylaeus anthracinus, known colloquially as the Hawaiian yellow-faced bee. We found that Kahuku Point provided an important habitat for both species because it is one of the few places where the plant and its pollinator overlap in range.


The fundamental objective of this project is to maximize coastal strand habitat that supports healthy populations of Sesbania tomentosa and Hylaeus anthracinus at Kahuku Point. We intend to accomplish this fundamental objective with technical support from our partners at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Pacific Islands Coastal Program through the following sub-objectives: 

  • Minimize the population of invasive mammalian predators including Javan mongooses (Herpestes javanicus), black rats (Rattus rattus) and house mice (Mus musclulus)
  • Minimize the cover of invasive flora
  • Monitor populations of S. tomentosa and their primary pollinator, H. anthracinus
  • Collect seeds for propagation following strict guidelines as identified under our T&E permit #I2472
  • Out-plant additional S. tomentosa
  • Maximize survivorship of out-planted S. tomentosa individuals
  • Install symbolic fencing to manage trail users and protect sensitive areas, including S. tomentosa populations

Project 192521859 location - United States, North America