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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 162513634

Innovative approaches to conserving the rarest forest birds of Kauai: Akekee, Akikiki, and Puaiohi

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 162513634) - Akekee - Awarded $25,000 on October 11, 2016

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) was founded in 1994, and is the only not-for-profit organization that works solely to conserve native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts to safeguard the rarest birds, develop innovative solutions to conservation problems, and to build capacity in the bird conservation community. ABC advances bird conservation through direct action and by targeting and engaging the people and groups needed to succeed. ABC leads bird conservation by using the best available science to analyze issues; facilitating networks and partnerships; developing and implementing collaborative strategies; and establishing measurable benchmarks. ABC operates efficiently, making the best use of funds received from government sources, foundations, and private individuals. The geographic focus of this work is Hawaii, where most bird extinctions have happened due to the severe impacts of non-native mammals. This project focuses on three rare and declining forest birds, endemic to Kauai: Akekee (pop <500 birds), Akikiki (pop <1,000 birds), and Puaiohi (pop <500 birds). All three birds are now restricted to the Alakai Plateau in the northwestern quadrant of Kauai where non-native rats severely impact reproductive success by preying on eggs and birds in nests, non-native mosquitoes spread avian disease, and feral pigs destroy habitat. The Alakai Plateau is a montane wet forest, sometimes referred to as a swamp, located near Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on Earth. Accessing the Alakai Plateau is a challenge and transporting equipment is best done using a helicopter which can make conserving these birds costly and time consuming. However, with so few birds remaining, it is critical that we take action before it’s too late.

Project 162513634 location - United States, North America