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Project Objectives

Our primary aim is to explore, document, and safeguard the rich fungal diversity found on Kaua'i. Through the creation of detailed records and collections, our mission is to provide valuable resources for local research and educational endeavors. We envision this project as a platform to showcase the harmonious blend of conservation-focused naturalism and the intricacies of field and laboratory scientific practices.


This project involves the collection, photography, and metadata recording of macrofungi across the island of Kaua'i. Fungal tissue will be carefully dehydrated and sampled for DNA barcoding and microscopic analysis. Our comprehensive dataset, including photographs, GPS coordinates, and other essential metadata, will be shared on Furthermore, DNA barcode sequences will be published on NCBI GenBank, while all collected specimens will find a permanent home at a fungarium, ensuring they're available for future study.


We also provide in person workshops, where we educate our fellow community scientists on every facet of the process. From the art of collection to the intricacies of microscopy, DNA sequencing, and accessioning, participants will gain insight into the entire scientific journey.


All data generated through our collective efforts will be shared with Hawaiian land management agencies and made publicly accessible.

Project Background 

Hawai'i boasts one of the highest levels of plant endemism, with 90% of its 1,367 native vascular plant taxa found nowhere else. Unfortunately, many of these plants are threatened with extinction, with a significant percentage already extinct. Moreover, the fungal biodiversity of Kaua'i remains relatively understudied, highlighting the importance of our ongoing research efforts. By attending the Kaua'i Biodiversity Ecotour, your ticket purchase directly funds our endeavors to observe, document, and preserve the diverse fungi of Kaua'i, contributing to our understanding of this remarkable island's biodiversity.

Research Methods

Utilizing an integrated taxonomic approach, our survey aims to comprehensively document the fungal diversity on Kaua’i. We will collect macrofungi from established trails, taking utmost care to avoid any disruption to local vegetation. No new paths will be created during our survey.

Each unique species encountered, excluding those under protection, will be meticulously vouchered. Detailed macroscopic notes will be recorded, and an effort will be made to obtain DNA barcode sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region (nrITS) using the advanced Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) MinION sequencing platform. Subsequent data analysis will employ the MycoMap analysis toolset to ensure precise nomenclature.

Our observations, accompanied by comprehensive notes and photographic records of vouchered collections, will be contributed to the iNaturalist platform. Corresponding specimens will be professionally deposited in a fungarium for future reference.

In adherence to protocols provided by the University of Hawai‘i and the Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee, all participants are obligated to follow sterilization procedures. This is critical to control and prevent the spread of the invasive fungus Ceratocystis spp., known as the causal agent of rapid ʻŌhiʻa death. Instances of this disease will be meticulously documented and reported to the KISC.

Furthermore, our survey itinerary has been thoughtfully planned to minimize any potential crossover between regions with documented Ceratocystis spp. presence and those free of it. We reference the UH ROD sighting map of Kaua’i to ensure the utmost precaution and environmental preservation.

Community Support

At this event, our commitment extends beyond scientific research. We're dedicated to making a positive impact on our communities and the environment. We are proud to announce:

  • All profits from this event will be donated to support the Kaua'i Biodiversity Survey project, contributing to the preservation of Hawaii's unique biodiversity. Any additional funds will go towards future biodiversity projects.

  • A portion of ticket sales will be allocated to assist the Mau'i Fire Victims in their recovery from recent disasters.

  • Additionally, a percentage of your ticket purchase will be directly channeled into native tree planting on Mau'i, aiding in the restoration of the island's natural ecosystem.

We believe in the power of unity among scientists, nature enthusiasts, and responsible citizens. Together, we can make a difference by supporting both our community and the environment. 

The Kaua'i Biodiversity Survey is coordinated by individuals who generously donate their time and expertise without financial compensation.

Meet the Team

2023 Workshop Schedule at a Glance


Our Partners

The Hawaii Fungi Project
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