POSTED: 3:48 p.m. HST, Sep 16, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 4:21 p.m. HST, Sep 16, 2011
The endangered Hawaiian crow's population is up 25 percent after a record breeding season this year.
The Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program said today that 20 alala chicks hatched this year, and 19 chicks survived. This brings the crow's population to 95 from 76.
The captive breeding program is a field project of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.
The results were boosted by the record numbers of eggs laid, record number of eggs proving fertile, and a high proportion of embryos surviving to hatch.
The bird plays an important role in dispersing seeds in the Hawaiian forest. But it was almost exterminated by introduced predators, disease, and the destruction of its habitat by people and livestock.
The alala is considered extinct in the wild.