Maui’s Kiwikui Population Declines by Half

HONOLULU, OAHU (Ben Caxton) — A new study says populations of two endangered forest birds on Maui have declined by more than half over the last population census. The latest count shows just 312 Maui Parrotbills, or Kiwikui, and 2,411 crested honeycreepers in the wild on the island. Scientists say the bird populations are declining from diseases like avian malaria, depredation, and habitat degradation. Researchers believe the native Maui birds are only found in a small area on the eastern side of the island, but forests in the west and south of Maui in the Nakula Natural Area Reserve have been being prepared since 2013 for a reintroduction of Kiwikui this fall.

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