Raising funds to help the native birds of the Hakalau Forest

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ʻIʻiwi on ʻōhiʻa mamo (photo © JackJeffreyphoto.com via Hawaii Community Foundation)

  • The National Wildlife Friends of the Hakalau Forest is looking to raise $200,000 through its fall 2022 endowment campaign.
  • The funds will support four projects in the Hakalau Forest Unit that all share the common goal of helping native birds survive.

From a press release from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation:

The Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has set a goal of $200,000 for its fall 2022 endowment campaign.

Located high on the windward slopes of Mauna Kea, the Hakalau Forest Unit consists of 32,830 acres of some of the finest remaining stands of native montane rainforest in Hawai`i and habitat for 29 species in critically endangered, including seven birds, one insect, one mammal and 20 plants found nowhere else in the world.

A strong staffing is essential to ensure that there is no disruption of funding for necessary management activities on the Refuge. Reliance on uncertain federal appropriations from year to year will seriously compromise the success of the highly effective refuge management programs in the Hakalau NWR Forest. Habitat restoration work is expensive and laborious, but should be continued until threats can be permanently eliminated. The many management needs, which often arise when least expected, have motivated the group of Friends to provide a steady stream of funding to be able to be responsive when needed.

“We can ensure that our endangered birds have a future if we can build the resources to help with the critical management that needs to be done to restore and maintain healthy habitat in the koa-ohia forests of Hakalau,” said said JB Friday, a forester on the faculty of the University of Hawaii and president of the Friends group. “Although our long-term goal for the endowment is $3.5 million, we have raised over $800,000 in the first seven years of the endowment’s existence. This year’s campaign has the potential to bring the endowment to over $1 million. Although ambitious, we all believe this is possible thanks to the generous donations of our Friends members and many other interested parties who see the value in creating this fund.

Friends of the Forest of Hakalau NWR have identified four key projects to support once the endowment reaches capacity to begin releasing funds to support vital work.

1) Feral hog control to reduce mosquito larval habitats, thereby reducing the threat of avian malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

2) Forest restoration efforts in areas adjacent to and above the refuge to increase areas of high quality forest bird habitat at higher, mosquito-free elevations. For these projects, we will work in conjunction with groups such as the Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance.

3) Removal of all mosquito larval habitats identified by the early warning detection system. Further development of the early warning system for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

4) Control of rats, mongooses and other predators to improve bird survival and increase reproduction.

Hakalau Forest NWR was established in 1985 to conserve endangered plants and animals and the native ecosystems of which they are a part. Since its inception, the sanctuary has made great strides towards protecting valuable endemic forest birds and other species by fencing large areas of the sanctuary and eliminating wild ungulates, controlling invasive plant species and restoring native forest. of koa-o’hia on former ranch land that had been virtually denuded of forest. Thousands of endemic plant species, including several endangered, have been planted in the understory, and endangered forest birds like the ʻAkiapolaʻau, ʻIʻiwi and ʻAlawi have moved into these forests in recovery to once again use these essential resources for their survival.

Although Hakalau’s NWR forest sits high on the slopes of Mauna Kea, recent climate change models predict that its endangered birds will soon face the same avian disease threats that have affected these species at higher elevations. bass. The need for financing has never been so urgent!

If you want to donate online, log on to Hawaii Community Foundation website.

If you would like to contribute by check, please make the check payable to “Hawaii Community Foundation: Hakalau Forest Endowment” and mail it to:

Hawaii Community Foundation
827 Fort Street Mall
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813

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