LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - The Hawaii Department of Transportation has backed out of a habitat conservation plan aimed at protecting the state's endangered and threatened seabirds on Kauai.
The Garden Island reports that progress on the plan to protect Newell's shearwaters and Hawaiian petrels has slowed due to the agency's decision to step back. The plan requires cooperation from the department in order to stay on schedule.
A transportation department spokesman says staff members have been advised not to comment on the matter because of pending litigation.
The plan was created through a partnership between the transportation agency, Kauai County and the Princeville Resort to address the declining bird populations.
Researchers have found that the birds have been negatively impacted by power lines and distracting lights.