HI NOW: Wildlife Habitat Conservation

Since 1989, Bayer, formerly Monsanto, has been working with the Wildlife Habitat Council on efforts to improve wildlife habitats statewide. Three years ago, the company was recognized as the first business in the state to receive the prestigious “Wildlife at Work” certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council. Hawaii Now visited one of Bayer’s farms on Molokai, to see its wildlife habitat conservation efforts first hand.

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit group of corporations, conservation organizations, and individuals dedicated to promoting and certifying habitat conservation and management on corporate lands. The certification program sets the standard for corporate conservation practices and recognizes meaningful wildlife habitat management and conservation programs nationwide.

Wildlife conservation is critical to the health and stability of Hawaii’s ecosystems and as part of our island community and stewards of the land, Bayer takes this responsibility seriously. Bayer has implemented sustainable conservation practices in an effort to create and maintain flourishing Wildlife Habitat on all of its farms across the state. This includes efforts to cultivate and protect native species like the yellow hibiscus.

Since 2015, two other Bayer farms have achieved the Conservation Certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council, including the Haleiwa Farm and Upper Kunia Farm.

Bayer Molokai farm has been operating under a Conservation Plan in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) since 2008. Since then, Bayer has implemented the following practices: planting vegetative cover to prevent soil loss; performing contour tillage to increase water infiltration; performing deep tillage to ensure farm lands remain healthy and productive; installing storm diversions to direct water away from fields; documenting wildlife species sighted on the farm; and planting permanent vegetation around the perimeter of our fields for windbreaks.

For the past three years, the focus at Molokai farm has been on planting windbreaks to reduce wind damage to crops and restoring non vegetative lands with native species. The plantings include 11 different native or endangered plants including koa, milo and ohai. Bayer uses this as an outdoor classroom where the company teaches visitors to the farm about native Hawaiian plants.