Good news for the endangered Alala birds: They survived the severe weather

Alala crow seen in a Hawaii Island forest. (Image: DLNR)
Alala crow seen in a Hawaii Island forest. (Image: DLNR)
Updated: Aug. 28, 2018 at 8:12 PM HST
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BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Recently released into the wild, 11 endangered Hawaiian crows survived recent severe weather brought on by Tropical Storm Lane.

That's after more than 50 inches of rain hammered parts of Hawaii Island this week.

Researchers with the Alala project went to check on the birds at the Puu Maka'ala Natural Area Reserve.

They were thrilled to see that all 11 survived. Alala are known to be highly intelligent.

"They survive very well in wet conditions and they're able to fend for themselves. We've seen over time that the birds have gotten much better seeking shelter in the forest and finding natural nooks and crevices where they can hide from the rain," Dr. Alison Greggor said.

The species died out in the wild years ago and scientists have been working to regrow the population. The last time the Alala was seen independently in the wild was 15 years ago in south Kona.

Experts say some forest birds that get wet in prolonged rain and severe weather can get sick as their body temperatures drop, threatening their well being.

The release of these birds are a part of an ongoing species restoration effort. These 11 birds have been living in the wild for almost a year now, and continue to do well.

"We'll continue doing everything humanly possible to be sure they and the others to follow in coming years have all the support they need to thrive and survive in their forest homes," Dr. Greggor said

Project coordinators plan to release ten more birds in the fall.

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