State opens interactive virtual tours, donations for endangered natural areas | News, Sports, Jobs

Maui News

Nature lovers can help protect Hawaii’s endangered natural areas by taking an online tour and donating Tuesday Giving through the state’s new online portal, the Land and Resources Department said. natural.

The new interactive tour showcases the 23 natural area reserve system sites across Hawaii, which range from the world’s only tropical glacial alpine lake at the summit of Mauna Kea to ocean and coastal environments. The reserves also include tropical rainforests and are home to rare and endemic plants and animals. While the reserves are generally open, many are rarely visited as they are incredibly remote, steep and rugged.

Reserves seek to protect both endangered species and the ecosystems on which they depend and have the highest levels of protection in the state.

Anyone can explore the reserves through the online tour and make a contribution through the state’s online donation portal, a first for DLNR’s Forestry and Wildlife Division. Donations made through the portal are deposited into a state trust fund and will support conservation actions in nature reserves, including planting native trees or removing invasive species.

Giving Tuesday is typically held the week after Thanksgiving as a way for people to donate to nonprofits and other causes after one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

As in-person volunteer opportunities have been scarce in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online visitation and donation system provides an alternative way for individuals to learn more about these areas and support the work. conservationists, DLNR said in a press release Tuesday. .

“When we lose our native species, there is also a cultural loss of knowledge and experiences that has enriched generations of people”, said Emma Yuen, program manager for the protection and management of indigenous ecosystems. “Much of this land has been considered sacred for centuries, and it is an honor to work to protect it from further loss. The donation function allows anyone to make a meaningful contribution to the protection of what makes Hawaii so remarkably valuable. “

For those who wish to donate on behalf of someone, gift cards featuring landscapes and native species can be downloaded. Those interested in visiting online and using the donation tool can visit dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/nars/donate/.

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