KULA, Hawai’i (KHON2) — Haleakalā National Park has released a new short documenary, “Heart of Maui” in an effort to help the public understand why action is needed to save the forest birds of Hawai’i.
The documentary explores the catastrophic decline of Hawaii’s native bird populations over the last few years.
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“Prior to the introduction of mosquitoes into Hawaiʻi, forest birds were found from mauka to makai. This film offers a rare glimpse into some of the only habitat that remains for these birds, on the eastern slopes of Haleakalā,” said Chief of Interpretation, Education & Volunteers, Jin Prugsawan Harlow.
Mosquitoes, an invasive insect, have wreaked havoc on native bird species. According to Cara Thow from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, “Once a female [mosquito] bites a susceptible bird, [the bird] has a 90 percent chance of dying.”
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Harlow added: “Those who watch it will understand the critical need to control mosquitoes and avian malaria.”
You can watch the film online.