Contest Winners Announced Ahead of Nēnē Awareness Day
By Wendy Osher
Haleakalā National Park announced the winners of its annual Nēnē Awareness Day Logo Contest.
Drawings will be on display at the park starting tomorrow, Nēnē Awareness Day, Sept. 26.
Maui Waena Intermediate School was the only middle school participating in the contest this year.
Winning entries included:
- Rysher Belen took first place with the entry, “Nēnē The State Bird of Hawaiʻi.”
- Kirk Seitz placed second for his artwork entitled, “Mālama ʻĀina Kōkua Nēnē.”
- Maya Hickman earned a top 3 finish for her drawing, “Pick Up Your Litter.”
To participate, students were invited to create a logo and slogan about why the endangered birds are special or what people can do to protect them.
Prizes included a one-year park pass and toys and games donated by the Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association, a non-profit park partner.
According to the latest estimates released by the NPS in 2013, there were less than 300 nēnē left in the park. Park officials attributed the endangered status to “habitat loss and non-native predators, such as cats and mongoose, that eat eggs and prey on birds.”
At Haleakalā, the nēnē are known to frequent areas between the 5,500 and 8,000 foot elevation.