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Endangered millerbirds moved from Nihoa to Laysan Island

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conservation groups have moved more endangered birds from Nihoa Island to Laysan Island to boost the species’ chances of survival. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday biologists captured 26 millerbirds on Nihoa and moved them to Laysan in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument last month. 

They are the second group to move to Laysan. 

A self-sustaining millerbird population on Laysan will help protect the species if a hurricane or alien disease hits Nihoa and wipes out the population there. A related subspecies once lived on Laysan but disappeared in the early 20th century after introduced rabbits destroyed the island’s vegetation.  

Two biologists will remain on Laysan through the end of October to monitor the birds. One will stay through the winter.

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