HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Biologists are planning to reintroduce Hawaii's last remaining native crow species to the Big Island's forests.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that a dozen alala, which have been extinct in the wild for 14 years, will be released from a captive breeding program in September. Biologists will monitor the birds' progress and plan to release 12 alala each year over the next five years.
The birds face several threats in the wild, including feral cats and mongooses. The io, or Hawaiian hawk, is also a known predator.
The release of the birds this year will follow a failed attempt in the 1990s, when 27 birds were let go in South Kona. Twenty-one alala died due to disease and predation and the remaining six were recaptured.