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FEATURE

Hawaiian Birds in Peril – Immediate Boost in Conservation Spending Needed





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By Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy

America is blessed with a spectacular abundance and diversity of birds, with more than 800 species inhabiting the mainland, Hawai`i, and surrounding oceans. Unfortunately, the recently released State of the Birds - United States of America report, a collaborative effort from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Bird Conservancy, and several other non-profit groups, reveals that hundreds of bird species are in decline, and some are threatened with extinction.  However, this report makes clear that if we apply ourselves by investing in conservation, we can save endangered wildlife, protect habitats, and solve the multiple threats that form the root of these bird declines.

State of the Birds finds that the birds of Hawai`i, the birthplace of President Obama, are in the greatest danger. Before human settlement, Hawai`i was home to 113 endemic bird species. Since then, 71 Hawaiian birds have gone extinct. Of the 42 endemic bird species that may remain, 31 are federally listed; several of these are on the brink of extinction, ten have not been seen in years, and two more, the Akikiki and Akekee are expected to be listed in the coming year. Continued...

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