Anchialine Pond Shrimps
Hawaii's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
Habitat destruction has reduced available habitat for anchialine pond shrimps. On the island of Hawaii much development has occurred in the major area for anchialine pools between Kawaihae and Kailua-Kona leading to the filling in of many pools. A monitoring system was set up at Waikaloa to assess the impacts of development there;
Hawaii's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy 8/18/2005
A number of introduced species may compete with them for food or prey on them. Introduced fishes (Tilapia, koi, mosquitofish and guppies) and Tahitian prawns are a major predatory threat and alter the habitat use of remaining shrimp. Over 90 percent of the anchialine ponds in the Kona coast of Hawaii are contaminated with non-native species. The presence of introduced fishes leads the shrimps to retreat into crevices in the substrate. As a result the ponds become overgrown with algae, leading to greatly accelerated debris accumulation and decay of the ponds, suggesting Opae Ula is a keystone species;
Pollution of pools by refuse and human use of the water;
Anchialine pools themselves may thus serve as conduits for pollutants and predatory
impacts to the underground areas that may be the primary habitat of these species;
Collectors taking Opae Ula to sell for aquarium use or fish feed threaten some ponds.
The goals of conservation actions are to not only protect current populations, but to also establish further populations to reduce the risk of extinction. In addition to common state-wide and island conservation actions, specific actions include: Fencing the pools in 'Ahihi Kina'u NAR NAR, and possibly elsewhere; Educating people to the value of, threats to and conservation actions to protect the ponds; Restoration of habitat by removal of introduced species; Creation of man-made pools should be explored; Maintain healthy populations with appropriate fishing regulations and education; Closure and rerouting of a portion of the road adjacent to 49 pools in Manuka NAR has been proposed.