Conservationists rejoice! Hawaiian hawks are no longer endangered

Io population has been stable for more than 30 years.

Conservationists rejoice! Hawaiian hawks are no longer endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servie says the io is no longer at risk of extinction. (Image: Jack Jeffrey) (Source: Jack Jeffrey)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaiian hawk or io is no longer endangered, according the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday.

FWS is once again proposing to remove the io from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act, since new and promising information was collected on the io population since 2014.

According to Fish and Wildlife, the io is no longer threatened or endangered because of its ability to adapt to changes in habitat, population stability and conservation efforts.

The io hawk is benefiting from an increase in habitat, a decrease in the human population on the Big Island, a number of reforestation projects and efforts to reduce the spread of strawberry-guava trees.

Studies show that range-wide population estimates have been stable for more than 30 years; and the hawks have been nesting and foraging successfully in both native and altered habitats.

According to FWS' analysis, the io is no longer at risk of extinction, currently or in the near future.

The public is invited to comment on FWS' proposal and to review its plan to monitor the io once its removed from the list to make sure the species continues to thrive.

Since it was first proposed in 2008, this is the fifth time the public has been asked to comment on the io’s removal from the endangered species list.

Fish and Wildlife will consider comments that were submitted in the 2008, 2009 and 2014 comment periods on this matter.

The io was first listed on the endangered species list in 1967.

Residents can submit their thoughts from Oct. 30 to Nov. 28.

To learn more about the io, FWS' proposal and how to submit your comments, click here.

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