Maui News

MNSRP Seeks Public Help in Saving Native Seabirds

December 1, 2017, 3:37 PM HST
* Updated December 1, 3:39 PM
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Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project members are asking the public to report any unusual seabird sightings. Photo Courtesy

Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project members are seeking the public’s assistance to help reduce seabird mortality.

Since October, native fledgling seabirds have been emerging from their nesting sites and will continue to do so throughout December.

The group says young seabirds are dependent on the moon and stars to navigate and each year, during nighttime hours, the seabirds make their first solo flight from their nests out to the ocean. However, artificial (electric) light and light pollution on Maui disorients and confuses the seabirds and steers them off course or causes them to ground, or stop flying and land short of the ocean.

Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project members are asking the public to report any unusual seabird sightings.

The following are tips on how to correctly identify a seabird: look for webbed feet, a tubed nose, and feathers that are dark (black, grey or brown) on the top and light (white or light grey) on the bottom.

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The group says that so far this season the public has reported and helped recover many seabirds, both fledglings and adults. To date, seven endangered ‘ua’u or Hawaiian Petrels and 32 ‘ua’u kani or wedge-tailed shearwaters have been recovered and saved.

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MNSRP asks that the public remember to turn off lights that aren’t needed and to start conversations about unnecessary outdoor lighting, and ways to shield and reduce it.

The group asks that if anyone finds a grounded seabird to place it in a well-ventilated box and keep it safe (no food or water and away from predators) and to call 573-BIRD if a seabird needs help.

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