A narrative on this web site from October 2019 (which was additionally in our February 2020 problem) described a undertaking of presidency businesses and conservation teams on the island of Maui geared toward saving one of many rarest and most critically endangered Hawaiian hen species, the Kiwikiu, or Maui Parrotbill.
Surveys in 2017 estimated its complete inhabitants at simply 157 people. The final wild inhabitants is discovered within the high-altitude native forests of East Maui. After years of planning, the conservation undertaking was set to ascertain a second “insurance coverage” inhabitants at a web site referred to as the Nakula Pure Space Reserve, on the leeward slope of the Haleakalā volcano.
A complete of 14 Kiwikiu have been launched on the new web site in October 2019. By late November, in response to a report revealed in March 2021, “all birds both had died or disappeared (apart from one person who was transferred again to the conservation breeding facility). Necropsies indicated avian malaria as the first reason for dying for all recovered people and little hope stays for the few remaining lacking birds on the web site. Unexpectedly excessive densities of mosquitoes have been later confirmed throughout the launch web site.”
The report, written by scientists from the Maui Forest Chicken Restoration Mission, Pacific Chicken Conservation, San Diego Zoo International, and a state company, is greater than 220 pages lengthy and covers all features of the tried restoration. It particulars the years of preparation work that passed off, together with restoration on the Nakula reserve and the removing of rats, mongooses, and different predators.
“The way and scale of the Kiwikiu deaths in Nakula NAR and the ramifications for future conservation go away us with a way of loss and grief,” the authors wrote. “Nevertheless, we as a conservation group are not any much less decided to save lots of the Kiwikiu from extinction. The result of the 2019 reintroduction try has elevated our information of the threats to Kiwikiu and our resolve in assembly these challenges.”