Maui News

Biologists Monitor Endangered Waterbirds at 250 Sites

January 19, 2011, 5:14 PM HST
* Updated January 20, 1:47 PM
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Posted by Wendy Osher

More than 250 wetland sites were visited today as part of the bi-annual waterbird survey, organized by the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Hawaiian stilts. Photo courtesy DLNR.

Dozens of wildlife biologists and volunteers participated in the survey to monitor and document dispersal, behavior, survival reproductive success and population growth of Hawaii’s endangered waterbirds.

Survey participants were looking specifically for Hawaiian moorhens, coots, stilts, and ducks, that have been tagged with colored bands used to identify birds originating from different islands.

“The information gathered gives us important trend data for our endangered waterbirds, migrant waterfowl, and shorebirds, important insight on the status of different species statewide, and helps us to better manage our endangered waterbird populations,” said DLNR Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr.

Biologists and volunteers joined in today's bi-annual waterbird count. Photo courtesy DLNR.

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O‘ahu sites surveyed included Kawainui, Pouhala and He‘eia Marshes, Paiko Lagoon, Nu‘upia Ponds, the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, and wetland associated areas. At Pouhala Marsh pintails and a gull were also seen, a sign that water levels which have been low due to drought, are now higher. In other areas where migratory birds are usually seen, fewer were seen.  State officials say declines may be due to more available areas elsewhere with ponded water.

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(Information courtesy State Department of Land and Natural Resources, DOFAW)

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