Over epochs of time, their separate volcanoes sank into the sea and the saddles between them flooded with water, leaving behind four distinct islands. Besides their ancient geological ties, there is another unique trait that links the islands of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi together: The existence of Axis deer.
Introduced in 1868 to the island of Molokaʻi by King Kamehameha V, this unique species of deer started out as a group of eight. Today, there are over 100,000. While it might seem like a thriving deer presence in Hawaiʻi could be a good thing, these population booms are occurring on islands with very finite resources.
Maui Nui reminds us that everything is connected. Properly managing the Axis deer population does more than help balance Hawaiʻi’s ecosystems, it’s good for our agricultural systems, for human health and the health of the deer themselves.