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2019 Kiwikiu Conservation Translocation Report

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Title:2019 Kiwikiu Conservation Translocation Report
Authors:Warren, Christopher C.
Berthold, Laura K.
Mounce, Hanna L.
Luscomb, Peter
Masuda, Bryce
show 1 moreBerry, Lainie
show less
Keywords:avian malaria
Wildlife reintroduction
Predatory animals--Control
Radio--Transmitters and transmission
Animal radio tracking
Date Issued:15 Mar 2021
Abstract:The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Recovery Plan for the kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill; Pseudonestor xanthophrys) (USFWS 2006) recommended establishing a second population within its historical range to protect the species from catastrophic loss in its small current range. In addition to the inherent threats of a small population and small range size, the current kiwikiu population is located on the windward (northeastern) slope of Haleakalā where they are under threat from severe weather events and frequent rainfall that have been shown to reduce reproductive success. The Kahikinui region of Maui on the leeward (southern) slope of Haleakalā was selected as the site of a new population of kiwikiu. Nakula Natural Area Reserve (NAR) was selected as the first release site to begin establishing the species in the Kahikinui region.
The Maui Forest Bird Working Group (MFBWG; hereafter “the working group”) wrote a comprehensive Kiwikiu Reintroduction Plan (MFBWG 2018). After many years of preparation, which included building infrastructure, controlling predators, and reducing mosquito densities in Nakula NAR, 14 kiwikiu were transferred to the site: seven wild birds translocated from Hanawī NAR and seven from a conservation breeding facility managed by San Diego Zoo Global. The birds from the conservation breeding facility and the wild were moved to Nakula NAR in mid-October 2019 and releases were completed a few weeks later. After release, birds were monitored using radio telemetry through November 2019 at which point all birds either had died or disappeared (except for one individual that was transferred back to the conservation breeding facility). Necropsies indicated avian malaria as the primary cause of death for all recovered individuals and little hope remains for the few remaining missing birds at the site. Unexpectedly high densities of mosquitoes were later confirmed within the release site. Further investigation revealed that the translocated wild individuals tested positive for the malaria parasite prior to the move to Nakula NAR. In this report, we discuss the strategies that were employed during the kiwikiu translocation, the outcome of those actions, and the steps moving forward for both future release improvements and recovery strategies for the kiwikiu.
Description:Reports were scanned in black and white at a resolution of 600 dots per inch and were converted to text using Adobe Paper Capture Plug-in.
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections: The PCSU and HPI-CESU Technical Reports 1974 - current

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