Monthly Archives: June 2012

We All Need To Protect The Rarest Hawaii’s Forest Birds

Refer to the birds, we would think that they are lovely and alive at the first time, they are quite benefical for the earth, so someone ever said that the birds are the best friends for the human. I believe that we all know about Hawaii, it is very famous for its beautiful scenery, but recently, a report said that three species of rarest Hawaii’s forest birds have been found at the lowest elevations in three decades, giving researchers hope for their continued survival.

Hawaii's Forest Bird

The rediscovery of the three species occurred at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, which is located on the northeast slopes of Mauna Kea. The three species are the Hawaii creeper, Hawaii ‘akepa and ‘akiapola‘au, are believed to be highly susceptible to mosquito-transmitted diseases, including avian malaria. It was thought the birds’ distribution was limited to cooler, higher elevations that are less favorable to mosquitoes.

Staff at the Hakalau refuge, which is controlled by the USFWS, heard the songs of the creeper and ‘akepa at the 4,200-foot elevation, within a mile of where they were last observed during a 1977 forest bird survey. More importantly, scientists said, ‘akiapola‘au were heard and observed 1,000 feet lower in elevation from previous sightings in the 1970s. They said these new observations significantly extend the current known range of these species at Hakalau.

Extensive forest bird surveys showed the area containing the refuge to be among the best-high-elevation rainforest habitats remaining in Hawaii, which led to the establishment of the Hakalau refuge in 1985. It is the only national wildlife refuge dedicated to the conservation and restoration of Hawaiian forest birds. A 2005 USGS study noted that increased lowland sightings of the Hawaii ‘amakihi in the Puna district indicated that some native species have the capacity to evolve resistance to avian malaria.