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Nene geese nest on Oahu for first time since 1700s

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:23 p.m. HST, Mar 24, 2014

<br />2006 January 18 - CTY - Nene goose / geese. Courtesy photo. SMALL PHOTO DO NOT RUN LARGER THAN THREE COLUMNS.<br />==<br />Sender: Dominic Cardea<br />Park Ranger, Chief Interpretation<br />Haleakala National Park<br />(808) 572-4450<br />

Endangered Hawaiian geese have been spotted in the wild on Oahu for the first time in centuries, a federal agency said Monday.

A pair of nene nested and successfully hatched three goslings at a national wildlife refuge near Kahuku on the North Shore, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Authorities have been flying nene from Kauai, where the population has been growing rapidly, to Maui and the Big Island by helicopter and Coast Guard plane to establish populations on those islands.

The nene pair at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge near Kahuku found their own way to Oahu and weren't transported by humans, said Ken Foote, a spokesman for the agency. He declined to release further information, saying the agency will talk to media about the geese on Wednesday.

Nene -- the official state bird -- is an endangered species found only in the Hawaiian Islands. There are more than 2,000 remaining in the wild.

Scientists believe the birds are descendants of Canada geese that flew here nearly 1 million years ago.

They lost habitat to agriculture after Polynesians arrived in Hawaii about 1,000 years ago. When the first Europeans landed in 1778, the birds were only known to live on the Big Island. Fossilized remains of nene, however, have been found on Oahu and most of the other main Hawaiian Islands.

Unrestricted hunting after Europeans arrived took out even more of the birds. By 1952, there were just 30 left.

Steve Hess, a U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist, said the nene fly long distances -- they're known to cross the Big Island in a day -- so it's not surprising that they would fly to Oahu.

"But the fact that they would stop and raise youngsters over there -- that's pretty remarkable," said Hess, who has studied nene but is not involved with the Oahu geese.

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Forever_Grateful wrote:
It was nice to hear about the Falcon last week on the 30th floor of the FHB bldg. downtown ... I felt good that it was safe so high up. However, please, please, please do not advertise where these geese are!! Surely there will be some sick people out there who will seek harm to them. Please let them nest and rest in peace!!
on March 24,2014 | 12:17PM
kiragirl wrote:
Agree. Let them be and hope they will be safe from stray dogs, cats and mongeese.
on March 24,2014 | 02:07PM
kiragirl wrote:
What falcon?
on March 24,2014 | 02:08PM
Mythman wrote:
And may the native Hawaiians found living here in 1778 by Cook also be revived and soon.....
on March 24,2014 | 01:08PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Revive them? I didn't know they hibernate. They would now all be more than 236 years old. Wow! Methuselah will be waiting for them.
on March 24,2014 | 01:52PM
Mythman wrote:
Ken, in order to make a really clever comment, you have to learn a new technique - the one you use is as flat as your affect.
on March 24,2014 | 03:43PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Per Mythman: ......"also be revived and soon" ...........That would be non-Hawaiian Ken Conklin, who "revived", renewed himself, and who now claims, who now wants to be known, .... as a "Hawaiian".
on March 24,2014 | 02:22PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Bizarre, isn't it?
on March 24,2014 | 07:10PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Per Mythman: ... Hanalei, in order to make a really clever comment, you have to learn a new technique - the one you use is as flat as your affect.
on March 24,2014 | 07:17PM
hanalei395 wrote:
A desperate, non-sensible response by a very frustrated Conklin.
on March 24,2014 | 08:10PM
scooters wrote:
Finally some good news to report.
on March 24,2014 | 02:46PM
hanoz808 wrote:
cool story.....but the Nene's beak is dirty in the pic
on March 24,2014 | 03:45PM
SteveToo wrote:
Perhaps the Kahuku refuge needs a fence like the one at Ka`ena Point.
on March 24,2014 | 04:11PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Nice to hear. Those Nene are nice looking birds. Perhaps in the future we can see them more in the wild on Oahu instead of only at the Honolulu Zoo.
on March 24,2014 | 04:42PM
Kukuinunu wrote:
We saw a pair of Nene at Makapuu Lookout a few weeks ago. They flew in, seemingly from the direction of Maui.
on March 24,2014 | 05:24PM
kailua000 wrote:
so the downfall was when they lost habitat to farming when the Polynesians came. wow, something we're not blaming on the white settlers. thats new in itself.
on March 25,2014 | 01:43AM
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