The National Park of American Samoa has received several grants to support youth conservation programs aimed at removing two exotics – tamaligi and red seed tree – from the park.
The grants, totaling $227,600, will be used to hire American Samoan youth to assist in the removal of these invasive trees. The objectives of the program are to eradicate these invasive species and reclaim 2,000 acres of ecologically vulnerable rainforest, and to teach the young conservationists job skills and expose them to resource management career paths.
The invasive trees tamaligi (Falcataria moluccana) and lopa (Adenanthera pavonina) are serious threats to the native forests of American Samoa. These fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing tree species readily establish themselves and out compete the native Samoan forest.
The park invasive program has developed successful partnerships with Samoan villages by working with the traditional chief councils and utilizing local villagers to restore these forests. To date over 6,500 mature invasive tamaligi trees have been killed, reclaiming 2,500 acres of Samoan forest and produced a GIS map of all trees killed (since 2001) for future follow up visits.