POSTED: 8:16 p.m. HST, Dec 4, 2011
The state says a record number of wedge-tailed shearwaters fledged at Oahu’s Kaena Point after a predator-proof fence was installed there earlier this year.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Friday 1,700 shearwaters fledged this year, up from the previous record of 1,500 reached in 2007. The state began surveying the population in 1994.
The seabird isn’t endangered or threatened but it is native to Hawaii. The birds are particularly vulnerable to nonnative predators like dogs and cats because they nest in the ground.
Before the fence was installed in March, predators would kill up to 15 percent of Kaena Point’s shearwater chicks each year.
The fence has fine mesh, a rolled-up hood, and a skirt buried underground that keep out predators.