Alala once again facing threats in the wild as biologist work to save species

Alala birds have been reintroduced into the wild, but are once again facing threats.
Alala birds have been reintroduced into the wild, but are once again facing threats.(San Diego Zoo Global)
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 10:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Recent deaths of the near-extinct Hawaiian Crow are forcing conservationists to recapture the birds in the wild. 

Wildlife officials are working to address the challenges of the species in the Pu’u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve on Hawaii Island.

Experts say Alala are being hunted and killed by 'Io, or Hawaiian Hawks. 

“For the last three years it has been encouraging to see the released birds transition to the wild; foraging, calling, and flying in native forests,” biologist with the Alala project, Jackie Gaudioso-Levita, said.

“It is important to ensure that these surviving 'alalā are able to pass on the skills they have learned in the wild to future generations of the species. While very difficult, bringing these birds back into the breeding program is an interim step to the review and adaptation of the program to recover the species,” she added.

The birds became extinct in the wild in 2002, but have since been brought back thanks to captive breeding and efforts to restrengthen the population of the species.

It could take years before all of the Alala are captured and moved to the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center.

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