Honolulu (KHON2) – The Nature Conservancy is encouraging Hawaii residents about the relationship of birds to native Hawaiian forests, and their role in Hawaii’s ecosystem. 

According to the Nature Conservancy, Hawaii’s native forest birds face many challenges, from loss of habitat by development and invasion by non-native species.

“We work with many partners to protect the habitat of our rare forest birds, some of which have already gone extinct, and the others are threatened or endangered. By erecting fences in our forest preserves to keep out invasive animals and restore the native vegetation, we give these forest birds a fighting chance. In fact, some of these native birds only exist within our preserves and adjacent partner lands, so it’s not a stretch to say that this work is critical to their survival,” says Alison Cohan, Terrestrial Director, The Nature Conservancy, Hawai’i and Palmyra.

In addition to educating Hawaii residents, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to protect Hawaii’s ecosystem through land, water and wildlife, including native Hawaiian birds.

Cohan says, “Unfortunately, Hawaii is also known as the ‘extinction capital of the world.’ Last fall more than 23 birds, fish and other species were declared extinct by the US government; Hawai‘i had the most species on the list with 8 birds and one plant. Hawaii’s forest birds are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, and disease.”

The Nature Conservancy works with many partners to protect the habitat of rare forest birds, some of which have already gone extinct, and the others are threatened or endangered.

“We have partnerships and alliances with organizations like the State’s Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Parks Service, and the American Bird Conservancy, through which we exchange and leverage knowledge and resources to save these birds from extinction. On the ground, TNC and partner organizations work to preserve forest bird habitat by keeping invasive animals out of fenced areas, removing invasive weeds, and restoring the native vegetation to give these forest birds a fighting chance. In fact, some of these native birds only exist within our preserves and adjacent partner lands, so it’s not a stretch to say that this work is critical to their survival,” says Cohan. 

Those wanting to learn more about efforts in protecting Hawaii’s ecosystem can do so by visiting The Nature Conservancy’s website. 

The Nature Conservancy: Hawaii

www.nature.org/hawaii 

Innovative Projects to save the 4 Endangered Forest Birds 

www.birdsnotmosquitoes.org