Maui News

Jail Time Ordered in Albatross Killing

July 7, 2017, 9:40 AM HST
* Updated July 7, 9:44 AM
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A college student who was among a group of men convicted of killing Laysan albatross birds in the Kaʻena Point Natural Area Reserve on Oʻahu in 2015, was sentenced to 45 days in jail yesterday.

Christian Gutierrez was also ordered to pay an estimated $1,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service for the crime.

Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case applauded the ruling by the Environmental Court saying it sends a strong message to the community that there is no tolerance for abuse, destruction or killing of Hawaiʻi’s unique and precious wildlife.

She said the killings will have a terrible impact for years to come on the albatross breeding colony at the location. Based on conservative estimates of lifespan, reproduction rates and fledgling success, experts estimate that 320 animals were lost from the intentional killing of 32 adults and bird eggs.

The department estimates that 15 adult birds were killed and 17 eggs were either crushed during or died after the incident.

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The laysan albatross is a federally protected species and the Ka‘ena Point NAR has been under active management for the past 34 years by DLNR, contractors, conservation partners, and a wide variety of dedicated volunteers.

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*As part of her testimony Case played a DLNR produced video that depicts the work being done with the albatross colony at Ka‘ena Point NAR (posted below)

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