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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:36 p.m., Thursday, September 28, 2006

Recovery plan for 21 Hawai`i forest birds released

Associated Press

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan today to help 21 species of Hawai`i forest birds.

"This plan represents a tremendous effort by a multitude of federal, state, and private partners," said Patrick Leonard, field supervisor for the service's Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. "Such a large-scale plan can only be successfully implemented through cooperative conservation."

The list includes 19 species that are endangered, one that is a candidate for listing and one that is a "species of concern." The later species is the Bishop's `o`o, which hasn't been reliably observed since 1904.

Most of the species included in the plan are found only above 4,000 feet in the rain forests of the Big Island, Maui and Kaua`i. The exceptions are the palila, which lives in the dry upland forests of Mauna Kea, and O`ahu's elepaio, which lives in the native and nonnative forests at elevations as low as 330 feet.

Under the plan, efforts to help the birds' numbers recover include forest protection, forest restoration, predator control, controlling avian disease, fencing and removing ungulates such as pigs, goats, sheep and deer.

The primary threats to the birds include habitat loss and degradation from agriculture, development, cattle grazing, rooting by feral pigs, timber harvesting, invasive species and disease.

A draft of the plan was released for public review in October 2003.

On the Net:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/