HILO, Hawaii (AP) - State wildlife officials say Hawaii Island's native crow, the alala, could be reintroduced to the wild as early as next year.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the bird hasn't been seen in the wild for about 13 years. There are now 114 alala being raised in captivity.
According to a draft of the revised Wildlife Action Plan, 114 birds are enough to risk reintroducing the crows to the Big Island's forests.
Hawaii Fish and Wildlife Chief Scott Fretz says the department still needs to secure funding for the reintroduction, which would include tracking, veterinary support and predator control.
An attempt to reintroduce the alala in the 1990s was unsuccessful when the birds became susceptible to disease and predators.