Don't call it a comeback: The nene is on the road to recovery

Don't call it a comeback: The nene is on the road to recovery
(Image: DLNR and USFWS)

After decades of conservation efforts, Hawaii's nene population looks like it may be stabilizing.

Because of this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that the state bird be shifted from "endangered" to "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

Beginning Monday, the public will have 60 days to weigh-in on the proposal to change the nene's official listing. The proposal includes a clause that would allow additional flexibility for landowners to manage nene on their property without negatively impacting conservation efforts.

Residents who wish to submit comments or find more information about the state bird can visit the USFWS website.

The Hawaiian goose has been listed as endangered since 1967. At one point — less than 30 of the tropical birds existed in the wild. An additional 13 lived in captivity.

Today, the nene population consists of over 2,800 birds with stable populations developing across the Aloha State.

"It took decades of hard work and remarkable partnerships to bring nene back from the brink of extinction," said Robyn Thorson, Regional Director for the Service's Pacific Region, in a news release. "Collaborative conservation efforts like this are the key to success in protecting and recovering Hawaii's native species."

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