Maui News

‘For the Love of the Birds’ Valentine’s Day fundraiser to replace stolen equipment

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Photographs – Kiwikiu at Maui Bird Conservation Center. Photo courtesy: Hawai’i DLNR.

Last December, the office and storage areas of the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project were broken into. The facility was damaged by thieves and equipment and gear was stolen.

“It breaks our hearts that these thieves would steal from a project like this and cost us precious funds that would have otherwise gone towards our ongoing conservation work,” said Dr. Hanna Mounce, MFBRP Research and Management Project Coordinator.

To help try and replace some of the lost equipment the project is holding an online fundraiser for Valentine’s Day titled, “For the Love of the Birds.”

“We are asking for assistance in replacing the gear and equipment that was stolen, replacing the locks that were broken, replacing the damaged doors, and enhancing the security at our office site,” said Mounce.

Mounce estimates it will take a little more than $4,000 to cover the full damage and replacement of items. “We need to raise $2,022 and an anonymous donor will match other donations up to $2,022 in order to reach our replacement goal.”

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Examples of what donations will cover include:

  • $100 for air compressor.
  • $444 to replace locks
  • $800 to replace doors and enhance facility security
  • $2700 to replace generators
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Click here to donate.

Generators are used at various field camps to recharge batteries necessary for mosquito sampling and trapping efforts as well as camp maintenance. The MFBRP is a key research collaborator for the “Birds, not Mosquitoes,” initiative underway in Hawai‘i.

The initiative is proposing to release sterile mosquitoes into the forests where the birds reside to try and bring mosquito-born avian malaria under control. The disease is the major threat for forest birds across Hawai‘i and is expected to lead to the extinction of several more species in the next few years.

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Mounce said, “For the love of the birds, help us as we rebuild after this heartbreak and carry out our mission of putting extinction in the past.”

Bird conservation projects across Hawai‘i rely entirely on government funding, as well as grants from non-government organizations and donations from nonprofits. Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources described it as a “constant struggle” to stay financially afloat, particularly in the face of serious threats to numerous forest bird species.

File (April 2021) video: Saving Kiwikiu-Maui Parrotbill on the Brink Highlight reel. VC: DLNR

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