Mother Nene struck and killed by vehicle in national park - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mother Nene struck and killed by vehicle in national park

Source: NPS Photo/Jessica Ferracane Source: NPS Photo/Jessica Ferracane

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is urging motorists to slow down and watch out for the endangered nene goose while driving on park roadways.

On Tuesday evening Park officials say a female Hawaiian goose died after being struck by a vehicle on Chain of Craters Road near Pauahi Crater. Her mate of 13 years escaped harm, but remains in the area.

The female, known as Green DU, was a consistent breeder, and successfully raised 24 goslings. She was hatched in captivity in the park in December 1991 and was released in March 1992.

"It is a shame that a nene with such a long and productive life had to die so tragically," said Dr. Rhonda Loh, the park's chief of resource management.

Nene is the Hawaii state bird.  About 200 nene thrive within Hawaii Volcanoes, and there are an estimated 2,000 birds statewide.  

Nene Crossing signs are posted along park roadsides in places nene frequent most.

Scientists say Nene are quite active in the late evening and early morning, and their grayish coloring makes them difficult to see during those hours.

Park officials also caution visitors not to feed the geese because birds seeking handouts fall prey to oncoming vehicles.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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