Temporary closure of areas surrounding Mauna Kea scheduled for ungulate animal control

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Areas surrounding Mauna Kea will close next month for the Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove ungulate animals to protect the native habitat for the endemic Hawai‘i Palilia bird.

Palila bird. Photo courtesy: DLNR

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife will be trapping, ground and/or aerial shooting for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon, and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within the palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on Hawai‘i Island.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with a federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for the yellow-headed Hawaiian bird.

A temporary closure is needed in the forest area to safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, the Hale Pohaku, Kilohana, and Pu‘uko‘ohi gated entrances to Units A and G and the gate behind Gil Kahele State Recreation Area will be locked at 8 p.m. on May 13 and reopened at 7 p.m. on May 15.


Control work is scheduled for May 14-15.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations :

  • On May 14, at Pu‘u Ahumoa, permittees must meet at the Kilohana check-in station at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On May 15, at Pu‘u Mali, permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are required. There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged and salvage locations are subject to change.


Due to high public participation, calls to the DOFAW Hilo Office at 808-974-4221 for salvage permits will be accepted until 10 a.m., the day before each shoot.

The driver, occupants, vehicle make/model and license plate are needed when calling. One permit will be issued per call, per vehicle for one day only. Applicants can have their names added to a standby list for additional days should other applicants not fill all slots.

No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at both the Pu‘u Ahumoa and Pu‘u Mali locations.


Contact the DOFAW Hilo office for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the DOFAW office in Hilo: 808-974-4221, Waimea: 808-887-6063, or Oʻahu: 808-587-0166.

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