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More Endangered Nēnē Eggs Found at Maui Golf Course

December 9, 2014, 11:38 AM HST · Updated December 9, 11:38 AM
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Nēnē goose egg near the 5th green at The King Kamehameha Golf Club. Photo by: Rick Castillo.

Nēnē goose egg near the 5th green at The King Kamehameha Golf Club. Photo by: Rick Castillo.

By Wendy Osher

Two more nēnē goose eggs were found today in Waikapū on Maui, this time near the 5th green of the Kamehameha Golf Club, and near the 12th hole and lake on the Kahili Golf Course.

The finding brings to three the total number of endangered nēnē eggs found so far this season in the area.

The first was found on Friday, Dec. 5, at The Kamehameha Golf Club near the club house.

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Rick Castillo, the Director of Golf at the facility said, “As soon as an egg is laid we call the Department of Land & Natural Resources and Wildlife, immediately.    They come out and document the egg and place a three-sided box around the nest to protect them from golf balls and the weather.”

Nēnē goose egg near the 12th hole/lake at The Kahili Golf Course. Photo by: Rick Castillo.

Nēnē goose egg near the 12th hole/lake at The Kahili Golf Course. Photo by: Rick Castillo.

According to Castillo, there are 10 to 15 nēnē that frequent the ponds at both locations, and that one year eight goslings hatched, but only four survived.  “The first week of the goslings are crucial as they are snacks for the mongoose and feral cats,” he said.

Castillo said employees of the golf courses train members and guests not to feed the nēnē, which is the official bird for the State of Hawaiʻi, and keep them wild so that they can feed themselves by eating new grass shoots.

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Just this week, officials at Haleakalā National Park issued an advisory urging motorists to slow down and drive carefully in areas where the endangered nēnē goose is known to frequent.

The nēnē breeding season is now in progress, resulting in more activity along Crater Road and in the Haleakalā National Park grounds.

In 2013, park officials said four nene were killed by passing motorists, and in 2014, six nene deaths were reported along park roads.

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