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Motorists kill 2 nene in Haleakala National Park

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:58 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2013

Two adult female nene were killed recently by speeding motorists in Maui's Haleakala National Park, according to a news release issued by the park. 

One of the birds was found dead Friday on the down-bound lane of Crater Road, near the Hosmer Grove intersection. The other was discovered Nov. 12 outside the park, near mile marker 9.

In the release, Park Superintendent Natalie Gates, said: "This is a truly worrisome start to the nene breeding season." She continued, "We didn't just lose two birds; we lost several potential generations of an endangered species. Driving slowly along the entire length of Crater Road is the only truly controllable thing humans can do, on a daily basis, to help this species." 

Crater Road bisects the nene breeding habitat, said park wildlife biologist Cathleen Bailey.

The park's chief of interpretation, Polly Angelakis, said, "Many motorists are not used to the steepness of the road and how fast a car can suddenly pick up speed." She added, "Visitors should use low gear when driving downhill to hold back their vehicles and save wear and tear on their brakes. Using low gear will make their own journey safer and help save this bird and other wildlife."

The nene, also known as the Hawaiian Goose, is endangered due to habitat loss and non-native predators, such as cats and mongoose, that eat eggs and prey on birds. There are less than 300 nene left in the park. 

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Roosevelt wrote:
Were the incidents witnessed? If not, how do they know the birds were hit by "speeding" motorists?
on November 20,2013 | 05:11PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Are the nene bird subjected to the same jaywalking rules as we people are?
on November 20,2013 | 05:17PM
kiragirl wrote:
Post more signs. Dunno if it will help. If it doesn't, have police patrol the area. Another is to have car rental companies distribute brochures about the Nene. Do something in any event!
on November 20,2013 | 05:45PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Well at least there are way more Nene at Haleakala than there were 10 years ago.
on November 20,2013 | 06:47PM
LMO wrote:
Put speed bumps all along the road where the Nene roost.
on November 21,2013 | 01:47AM
inverse wrote:
Thinking the exact same thing. If drivers damage their own or rental cars because of driving too fast over the speed bumps, then tough. No need to go through public hearing and listen to the rental car or bicycle tour companies complain of the speed bumps. it is not just the safety of the nene but for the safety of vehicles and bicyclist to require them to slow the f down.
on November 21,2013 | 02:04AM
kiragirl wrote:
The speed bumps need not extend across the entire lane so those bicyclists can avoid them and the speed bumps need not be so severe but enough to have vehicles SLOW DOWN.
on November 21,2013 | 04:36AM
kiragirl wrote:
Great idea! As I mentioned above, in any event, do something.
on November 21,2013 | 04:33AM
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