“Approximately 90 percent of the 1,400 plant species native to the Hawaiian Islands are found nowhere else in the world. Consequently, Hawaiʻi has the dubious distinction of being the ‘Endangered Species Capital of the World,’ with more than 300 plant species listed as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” —Nelli Sugii, Director, Hawaiian Rare Plant Program, Lyon Arboretum
In January 2011, the Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation pledged $600,000 to support the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum's Micropropagation Lab capital improvement project. This project will nearly double the size of the lab and provide an efficient working environment for the Arboretum's critical rescue and recovery research.
This is the only lab of its kind in Hawaiʻi.
The Micropropagation Lab prevents extinction of native Hawaiian plants by:
- Maintaining plant and seed bank collections
- Propagating plants for use in restoration and reintroduction projects
- Housing more than 16,000 individual plants and 160 native plant species – which is less than 50% of the species requiring protection
Thanks to the Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation, the Arboretum's Hawaiian Rare Plant Program can do more to rescue, recover and rehabilitate threatened plant species.