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National Park of American Samoa Environmental Factors

Three factors threaten the park's capability to preserve the native ecosystems over time:

First, invasive alien plants and animals threaten the native rainforest ecosystems on all the islands. Koster's curse, Clidemia hirta , and mile-a-minute vine are immediate threats whenever the forest canopy is disrupted either by human clearing or the frequent hurricanes (called cyclones in Samoa) . Miconia , a tree that has totally disrupted the native forests nearby Tahiti is a potential threat. The park's small staff is only beginning to learn resource management techniques to thwart these invaders. At present this, and the lack of helicopter capability in Samoa, cramps park efforts to thwart invasive alien species and protect the park's native biodiversity.

Second, higher ocean temperatures, likely triggered by broad global warming trends, threaten the parks superb ocean reefs. The park is conducting base line studies of the coral communities to track these changes. This park's coral reefs will be an early warning indicator measuring changes in the South Pacific seas.

Third, the Tutuila island unit of the park is threatened by the large rate of increase in human population now occurring adjacent to the Tutuila unit park lands. The increase subsistence take is at increasing and non-sustainable levels.

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National Park of American Samoa Environmental Factors
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