Saving the Kiwikiu: Part 2
We’re talking about the progress and plans to help save the kiwikiu — a critically endangered Maui forest bird that eats insects from the bark of Native Hawaiian trees, like Koa and Oʻhia. The Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project has led a decade-long effort, with multiple partners to regrow native forest, breed the kiwikiu in captivity, and re-establish a wild population of kiwikiu in the newly grown forest of Nakula, on the leeward slopes of Haleaklā.
In October 2019, biologists attempted to relocate 13 kiwikiu to Nakula. The birds took well to the new habitat, but the move was unsuccessful because of avian malaria, which is transmitted by non-native, introduced mosquitoes. Experts are now reinvigorating their work to reduce threats facing the kiwikiu and ensure its future—including mosquito control plans that could save not only the kiwikiu but also many species of native forest birds threatened by invasive species, disease, and climate change.
PC: Cover photo by Zach Pezillo.
Watch part 1, from season 6, in the episode “Saving the Kiwikiu.”
We hosted a special Zoominar on August 27th, 2020, as part of the Hanauma Bay Education Program lecture series. Along with viewing a draft version of the episode and providing feedback for its TV debut, attendees talked with featured experts from the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, American Bird Conservancy, Pacific Bird Conservation, the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and University of Hawaiʻi researchers. This video is the talk-story portion of the Zoominar.
Experts in this talk-story include Dr. Hanna Mounce, Chris Warren, Laura Berthold, Teya Penniman, Chris Farmer, and Peter Luscomb.
Watch the talk-story portion of the Zoominar below. You can also watch this talk-story session on YouTube.
Hanauma Bay Lecture Series Talk-Story Zoominar
- Grades 6-12: Birds
- Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds
- DLNR Video: Hawaiian Endangered Forest Birds
- Maui Natural Area Reserves (including Nakula and Hanawī)
- Kiwikiu Recovery and Translocation
- Civil Beat: Interactive article Fighting To Save This Rare Maui Forest Bird From Extinction by Nathan Eagle
- ABC Article: Kiwikiu Translocation Holds Promise For One Of The World’s Rarest Birds
- Civil Beat: Deadly Mosquitoes are Killing Off Hawaii’s Rare Forest Birds
- Environment Hawaiʻi: Fate of Endangered Forest Birds Hinges On Landscape-Scale Mosquito Control
- Hawaiʻi DLNR: Mosquito survey teams on Maui give voice to the voiceless
- Hawaiʻi Public Radio: Board approves final EA needed to start saving endangered birds from mosquitos
- Avian Malaria Resources
- Science Direct Resources
- Plos One paper by Liao et. al on Mitigating Future Avian Malaria Threats to Hawaiian Forest Birds from Climate Change
- Hawaiʻi Department of Health: Mosquito Transmitted Diseases
- Mosquito Control Information
- Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR): mosquito control information (with links to video/images by Dan Dennison)
- UH News: Birth Control fo Mosquitoes Targeted at Saving Hawaiian Birds
- UH News: Biotechnology Methods and Mosquitoes
- American Bird Conservancy
- Pacific Bird Conservation
- Department of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
- Disney Conservation Fund
- San Diego Zoo Global
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Kanesa Seraphin, Ph.D.