Bats, birds delay removal of invasive albizia trees

Bats, birds delay removal of invasive albizia trees

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A $3.5 million project that would remove albizia trees along Kuhio Highway has been delayed until next year to protect endangered Hawaiian species.

The Garden Island reports that the removal project was originally scheduled for April but suspended because it coincided with the birthing season of the Hawaiian hoary bat and the breeding season of the Hawaiian shearwater.

Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara says the albizia removal will not resume until early January.

The DOT plans to cut down 2,500 of the invasive trees that line a 1.1 mile stretch of the highway before the animals' birthing and breeding season starts next year.

Albizia trees were first introduced to the islands in the early 1900s from Indonesia. They were meant to restore Hawaii forests.

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