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Mauna Loa silversword facts for kids

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Mauna Loa silversword
Kahuku silversword2.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification

Argyroxiphium kauense, the Mauna Loa silversword or Kaʻū silversword, is a rare species of flowering plant in the aster family. It is endemic to the eastern and southern slopes of Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaiʻi. A. kauense occurs in a much broader range of habitats than the closely related and better-known Haleakalā silversword (A. sandwicense macrocephalum), and is found in montane shrubland, bogs, and open mesic forest.

Although threatened by damage from feral pigs, goats, and mouflon sheep, most of the areas where it currently exists are now protected, and the species is actively managed by the National Park Service and Hawaiʻi State Department of Forestry and Wildlife. It is a federally listed endangered species of the United States. There are three known occurrences remaining, for a total of fewer than 1000 individuals.

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