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This team is scouring the forests of Kauai to save a native bird from extinction

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 7:00 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 7:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A team of state wildlife experts has been searching Kauai’s Alakai Wilderness Preserve for the past three days looking for a family of Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Experts said the honeycreeper species known as akikiki live high in Halehaha mountains.

The team has nicknamed the birds Carrot, Napua, Abby and Erica.

The breeding pair and their two chicks are believed to be the last birds of their kind in this native forest.

“This valley is no longer safe for the birds. There’s are mosquitoes, there’s malaria — and we’ve seen that,” said Justin Hite of the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project. “All of the akikiki except for this one family have disappeared.”

“It’s critical, I think the population is crashing. And, if the birds are left out here, all indications show they’re going to die,” said Peter Luscomb of the Pacific Bird Conservation.

So far, the team has setup fine-mesh nets in order to capture the birds.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said if caught, the akikiki will be taken to a remote field research camp and then flown to the Maui Bird Conservation Center where they will join some 40 other Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Wildlife experts said they hope to eventually bring the birds back to Kauai once the environment is safe.

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