Hawaii's fauna is one of the most endangered on earth. Despite numerous extinctions since the arrival of humans, more than 20 endangered bird species still persist in small numbers on the Hawaiian Islands. Scientists believe that extinction of many of these species is likely unless aggressive conservation actions are taken to increase the size and distribution of these small populations.
NFWF's Hawaiian Forest Bird Conservation Program, created in 2009, was established to accelerate local implementation of the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for restoring highly imperiled forest birds. In close consultation with Hawaiian partner groups, NFWF strategically directs funding towards high-priority actions that provide the greatest return on investment for three endangered species: Palila, Maui Parrotbill, and Nihoa Millerbird.
Key conservation strategies for this program include:
- Establishment of fencing to exclude non-native ungulates and predators on Mauna Kea
- Control of non-native ungulates and predators
- Population management and research, including captive propagation and release
- Restoration and protection of habitat on Mauna Kea
- Establishment of fencing to exclude non-native ungulates on east Maui
- Restoration of native forests on east Maui
- Control of non-native ungulates
- Captive propagation and release of parrotbills, including establishment of a new population
- Ecological assessment of Laysan Island in preparation for translocations
- Translocation of Millerbirds from Nihoa Island to Laysan Island
- Post-release assessment and monitoring