SEREHD Preserving our natural heritage for a sustainable future. Quarterly Newsletter

Volume 12 Issue #3 July 2010

Fish for the Future?

11 New Species Discovered!

Enipein Community

Marine team in Philippines

Around the Office

What is Dr. Rhodes research telling us about the future our fishery?

A project aimed at gauging the effect of sakau clearings makes an amazing discovery, eleven species of insects new to science.

The traditional leadership of Enipein uses its marine management strategy to tackle land based issues.

Eugene and Kesdy took part in the annual LMMA practitioners meeting.

Angel and Iakop come on board as the newest members of the CSP family.

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Invasive Species in Pohnpei Invasive species are one of the biggest contributors to biodiversity and economic loss in Pohnpei and around the world. This is why Conservation Society has made invasive weed management one of its mission priorities for the last ten years. The Society has managed weeds like false-sakau since 2001 and has managed to completely eradicate the threat from the noxious ivy-gourd. The Society will be able to continue its fight against invasive weeds with the generous support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund(CEPF). Founded in 2000, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a global leader in enabling civil society to participate in and benefit from conserving some of the world’s most critical ecosystems. CEPF unites six global leaders from various governments and non-government organizations to provide grants to help protect biodiversity hotspots. The Society has hit the ground running and already completed many of the activities listed for the grant. The Society helped to coordinate the threeyear strategic action planning for the Pohnpei Invasive Species Taskforce (PIST) which is a multi-agency group aimed at protecting the island from the threat of invasives. In addition to the three-year plan the group decided unanimously to change its name to the Invasive Species Taskforce of The new logo for the Invasive Species Taskforce of Pohnpei (iSTOP) not only grabs attention but also Pohnpei (iSTOP).

features many of the most noxious invaders on island.







Fish For the Future?

Photo Courtesy: Steve Lindfield

I was able to catch up with Dr. Kevin Rhodes at Black Coral and get a better understanding of grouper aggregations and I began to hear about SPAGS monitoring, an acronym for fisheries conservation in Pohnpei. Dr. Rhodes has been spawning aggregations, which take place in Pohnpei every researching fish life cycles and spawning aggregations in Pohnpei spring. After nearly nine months of waiting, I immediately since 1997. He is fascinated by Pohnpei culture and loves its understood the anticipation upon entering the water with people, but says he is deeply saddened by the continued decline in the CSP Marine team as they conducted their annual grouper counts. I was supposed to follow the team and help fish from management inactivity. In his 12 years of research here, he has returned almost every spring to continue his work, while count groupers along the 325-ft transect. Needless to say, I providing training to CSP staff, teaching COM interns and was overwhelmed by the swarm of viciously territorial engaging with local leaders. groupers below and lost count within moments. With my count totally ruined, I resumed the only duty I could be Since 1997, Dr. Rhodes has been adamantly trying to promote trusted with, taking pictures of the fish and the team conservation efforts and legislation in order to help save Pohnpei’s counting them. diminishing fishery. Data from his 2006 market survey shows that The aggregation is truly phenomenal when you consider 1.6 million pounds of reef fish are harvested annually, while the complexity and logistics of how fish reach these sites and Pohnpei’s reef can produce only 1.1 million pounds of reef fish each year. To make matters worse, declines in coral reef health behave in preparation for spawning. Many of Pohnpei’s and increased fishing are adding to the problem. groupers return yearly to Kephara. The three aggregating species— Widir (Camouflage grouper), Sawi (Coral trout), According to Dr. Rhodes, “Marine Protected Areas are not and Ripw-ripw (Brown Marbled grouper)— divide the reef enough to maintain fish stocks in Pohnpei. Other regulations, like into sections where they perform rituals that include color a reef fish export ban and fish size limits are needed. Right now, change, territoriality and courtship. These events repeat 10% of Pohnpei’s reef fish go to Guam and Hawaii, places which around full moon every January to May and last 1-2 weeks once had abundant reef fish, but failed to properly regulate their per month. Unfortunately, Widir is now only a fraction of its fisheries”. Rhodes also recommends placing some restrictions on former abundance due to unregulated overfishing. Of the gill nets and night-time spearfishing, and providing more three, Widir is the most vulnerable because it aggregates protection for fish during spawning times. “Pohnpei has a good only two months and spawns only two days of the whole shot at restoration, but if management decisions continue to be year! It’s easy to see how fishing could impact Widir if most put off we will need more drastic actions to maintain Pohnpei’s eggs are removed before spawning occurs. beautiful natural history and rich fishing culture”. -Joshua Fuder

Almost immediately after coming on board at CSP last July







New Additions to Pohnpei’s Biodiversity

©Richard Mackenzie

Armed with his snorkel and small net, Dr. Mackenzie takes a dive in one of Pohnpei’s streams to discover new species.

The biodiversity of Pacific Island coral reefs and native cloud forests is

©Caitlin Kryss

recognized both locally and globally.  Pacific Island stream biodiversity is often overlooked, with the exception of the brilliantly colored native gobies. As a result, few people are familiar with the unique assemblages of stream plants and animals that were capable of crossing vast expanses of oceans to colonize these aquatic habitats.  These include aquatic insects.  

Aquatic insects live in or near streams, ponds, and wetlands during all or a

Arrenurus kostkai: Named after the two-legged

founding director of the Society, Willy Kostka portion of their lives. The immature stage of many aquatic insects, such as the mosquito or dragonfly, have adaptations that allow them to live and grow underwater until they develop into adults, emerge from the water, and fly away. The emergence of adult insects often results in large scale events with 1,000’s of insect leaving the water at the same time.  Other aquatic insects, such as water beetles or predaceous diving beetles, have adaptations similar to snorkeling or SCUBA that allow to temporarily enter the water to feed or lay eggs. Regardless of their adaptations, aquatic insects are extremely important animals (even mosquitoes!). They not only support native biodiversity, they are also an abundant food source that is fed upon by many species of native gobies, birds, bats, and reptiles, especially Calvarium pohnpensis during large insect emergence events.

Recently, the USDA Forest Service, in cooperation with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and the New York Botanical Garden conducted a project looking at how the clearing of upland cloud forests for sakau plantations is impacting the biodiversity and function of Pohnpeian streams.  Data is currently being analyzed, but 11 new species have been identified so far; three have been described. These include the mites Arrenurus cornuatus and Arrenurus kostkai (named after local conservation champion Willy Kostka) (Smit 2010) and the small beetle Calvarium pohnpensis (Yoshitomi 2010). We are working on getting descriptions/ verifications for the remaining eight species, which include two caddisflies, four midge flies, and two aquatic moths. In addition, we are currently identifying samples from nearby Kosrae to determine if any of these new species are endemic to Pohnpei. -Richard A. MacKenzie, SEREHD

©Richard Mackenzie






Traditional Solutions for a Modern Pohnpei

“As community Chiefs it is our traditional duty to uphold peace and unity” - Soulikin Soamwoai The Woankoapin Soamwoai community continues to lead the way in finding traditional solutions to community resource management. On the afternoon of June 24, 2010 four village Chiefs of Enipein community convened its traditional court for the second time to settle an infraction caused by a member of the community. Over 100 members of the community gathered in the newly constructed nahs (traditional meeting house) to witness the case of a young man accused with numerous cases of theft of sakau plants. The case was presented by an investigative committee and presented to the panel of traditional leaders, which served as the jury.

Above: The newly constructed ‘Nahs’ was the site of the traditional court.

After the case was presented the chiefs allowed comments and advice from those in attendance before reaching their final decision. Chief Soulikin Soamwoai said, “We have gathered here as a family and to right Above: Soulikin, Nahnihd, and Soulikin’s wife, this wrong as a family. As community Chiefs it is our traditional duty to Kedinlik en soamwoai(right to left), gather at the uphold peace and unity by putting the community first.” The young man head of the nahs. was sentenced to work together with the families that he stole from to replace their lost plants with seedlings. Members of the community have also been charged to help the young man plant his own sakau to ensure that this will not happen again. He has also been banned from selling sakau to the local markets until further notice. For more information about the Woankoapin Soamwoai community’s conservation efforts check out the article in The Nature Conservancy’s Autumn magazine or go to: www.nature.org/magazine/autumn2010/features/index.html?src=m1 4






CSP shares their work with the LMMA Network

“This trip was great for me because I was able to meet many of my counterparts and learn how they approach many of the same challenges that we face here in Pohnpei ” - Kesdy Ladore The beautiful island of Bohol in the southern Philippines was the site of this year’s Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) annual meeting. Eugene Joseph, the Society’s Marine Program Manager, and Kesdy Ladore, the Society’s Marine Protected Area Coordinator joined their fellow practitioners from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Palau to share successes and plan the future direction of the network. The LMMA is a network of practitioners involved in various marine conservation projects around the Asia-Pacific region. The network was formed ten years ago, with Pohnpei joining in 2003, as a means of sharing methods and strategies in marine conservation. The network employs an adaptive management approach in order to adapt, learn, and improve results in the future.

Above: Kesdy takes part in some group activities at the LMMA retreat.

The meeting is an important event for our staff to share their work in Pohnpei and Below: Eugene is seen here facilitating a session for the network’s national and regional working see how it relates to marine conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. Eugene spent group long hours with the LMMA’s country and regional level management team planning how they can adapt strategies from the community and sites up into higher level planning. Kesdy and the site based team spent three days developing LMMA’s strategies community engagement and management. Kesdy also participated in a home stay with a community conservation officer where he was able to see first hand some of the challenges in the area. “They seem to have a high level of community participation and are further along in terms of enforcement than we are, but it was very sad to see such small juvenile fish in the markets. Kesdy was also impressed that “many of my counterparts in these other countries are able to coordinate between sites where there are major obstacles like language and culture”. SEREHD


Staff Updates We are excited to welcome two new members to the family.

Angel Jonathan: Environmental Educator

Iakop Ioanis: Environmental Educator

M r. Jonathan joined the Society this last quarter as

M r. Ioanis joined the Society this last quarter as one

one of our newest Environmental Educators. Angel is 23 years young and joins us after more than one year of working as a full-time intern. He grew up in Rohnkitti and attended Nanpei Memorial High School high school. He began his Marine Science studies at the College of Micronesia in 2007 where he lacks a few classes for graduation. He is excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to continue working with Pohnpei’s youth. When Angel isn’t at work he enjoys participating in sports like basketball, playing and listening to music and spending time with friends. The Society would like to thank Angel for his devotion throughout his internship and we are proud to bring him on board as a full-time Environmental Educator.

of our newest Environmental Educators. Iakop is 26 years old and comes from a family of nine children. He grew up in Sekeren and attended Pohnpei Agriculture and Trade School. He has an Associates Degree in Marine Science from the College of Micronesia and is a few classes shy of completed his three-year Associate’s Degree in Education. He is excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to putting his education to work. When Iakop isn’t at work he enjoys playing sports like volleyball and shooting pool as well as spending time with his friends and family.

Pleas e re n ew y our M e mb e rs hi p to d ay ! Help support the g re a t w or k fe a t u re d i n t h i s n e w s l e t t e r by s e n d i n g u s the f o rm on the next page along with your support. Kalahngan!



CSP Membership Donation Form Help Preserve Pohnpei’s Natural Environment for a Better Tomorrow! __ I want to become a Member of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei. __ I want to make a donation to the Conservation Society of Pohnpei.

Please complete the form and send to: Conservation Society of Pohnpei PO Box 2461 Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941

__ $5 Annual Student Membership

__ $ 100-500 Annual Corporate Membership

__ $10 Annual On-Island Membership

__ $ 1000 Lifetime Membership

__ $25 Annual Off-Island Membership

__ Donation: $_________________





How would you like your name to appear in our newsletter and Annual Report? __________________________________

Address: _____________________







Affiliation/Organization: _________________________________________________________

Conservation Society of Pohnpei. PO Box 2461. Kolonia, Pohnpei. Federated States of Micronesia. 96941. (691) 320-5409 fax (691) 320-5062. [email protected]

JUL 10 Newsletter - Conservation Society of Pohnpei

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