MAUI’S UNIQUE AVIAN HISTORY

The history of birds in Hawaii is one of tremendous radiation and the geographic isolation has produced numerous species of birds whose behavior and type have been found nowhere else on earth. Unfortunately, Hawaii has suffered massive extinctions since humans and introduced mammals arrived. Additionally, more forest birds have fairly recently joined the extinction list.

Olomao (Myadestes sp.). In addition, neither the Maui Akepa (Loxops coccineus ochraceus), the Maui Nukupuu (Hemignathus lucidus affinus), pictured to the left, or the Po'ouli

These include the O'u (Psittirostra psittacea), Bishops O'o (Moho bishopi), and the Maui form of the

(Melamprosops phaeosoma) have been seen in several years and are also possibly extinct.

We focus our efforts on the most critically endangered of the surviving Maui honeycreepers. The reasons for their decline on Maui are manifold and include: habitat loss, hunting, introduced predators and ungulates, and

introduced diseases. Today, exotic diseases, such as avian malaria and avian pox, are the major restriction on the remaining populations of native birds. We combine habitat management with ornithological research to help us understand the reasons for the rarity of these birds and the ways in which we can help them recover.

09/04/2007
Please send your comments or suggestions to MFBRP webmaster poouli@hawaiiantel.net