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Voice of Support: American Bird Conservancy Recommends including Hawai’i in ABA Area

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 6:01
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A Message from Mike Parr, American Bird Conservancy

American Bird Conservancy (ABC), a leader in on-the-ground bird conservation work in Hawai’i, has long recognized the challenges facing Hawai’i’s native birds. We wholeheartedly endorse the addition of Hawai’i to the ABA area in the hope that it will bring even more visibility and support to this unique place and its irreplaceable bird life.

Since humans arrived, 95 of 142 endemic Hawaiian bird species have become extinct, and the remainder are under such threat that the archipelago has become known as the “bird extinction capital of the world.”

Working with partners across the islands, we’re determined to turn the tide for Hawaiian birds. For example, the recent translocation of Newell’s Shearwater chicks to a predator-proof enclosure offers hope for this rare seabird. This work builds on previous successful translocations, including Hawaiian Petrel and Nihoa Millerbird. Similar moves are planned for other dwindling populations, including the Maui Parrotbill.

Maui Parrotbill, Hawaii Amakihi, and 'Akohekohe are only three examples of critically endangered native Hawaiian birds that would benefit from addition to the ABA Checklist. Photo (l-r) Michael Walther (S25210000), Brian Sullivan (S31725700), Jacob Drucker (S30687192), photos from Macauley Library

Maui Parrotbill, Hawaii Amakihi, and Akohekohe are only three examples of critically endangered birds endemic to the Hawaiian Islands that would benefit from addition to the ABA Checklist. Photo (l-r) Michael Walther (S25210000), Brian Sullivan (S31725700), Jacob Drucker (S30687192), photos from Macauley Library

In the moist montane forests at high elevations, a number of other beautiful Hawaiian birds are still to be found, such as the ‘Apapane, Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi, and Hawai‘i ‘Akepa. But all face serious challenges, threatened by human-introduced predators such as rats. Eliminating these threats to the birds’ future is a top priority of ABC and our partners—for the benefit of future generations.

These are just a few examples of the avian treasures we’re working hard to conserve in Hawai’i. We are certain that including Hawai’i in the ABA area will contribute substantially to these efforts, reminding birders of these species and their urgent conservation needs. Making this change will be a welcome support to ABC and our partners across the islands.


The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a non-profit membership organization with the mission of conserving native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Mike Parr is Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer.

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