The Department of Parks and Recreation has closed Ukumehame rifle range because of a nene nest in the area, Maui County confirmed Wednesday.
A nene, which is state and federally listed as an endangered species, was spotted wandering around the rifle range on Sunday, Jan. 4, by a firearms instructor, who then notified the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
On Monday, a DLNR wildlife biologist confirmed that not only was there a nene on property, but that there was also a nest located on the right-hand side of the rifle range, up against the berm.
Upon DLNR’s recommendation, the county has closed the rifle range while the nene continues to lay eggs.
In the meantime, the pistol range, clay target range and the classrooms will remain open.
DLNR officials say it will be about a month-and-a-half before the eggs hatch and the nene family is mobile enough to be relocated or leave on their own. Once that happens, the rifle range can be reopened.