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Predator-proof fence protects Kauai endangered birds

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LIHUE, Kauai >> Conservation officials this week moved 10 endangered Hawaiian petrel chicks to an area of Kauai that’s protected by a predator-proof fence.

The agencies said Tuesday a helicopter flew the chicks from their nesting area to a new colony within the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge.

The birds are one of two seabird species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and are found nowhere else on Earth. Their population has shrunk dramatically in part because cats, rats and other introduced mammals prey on them.

A fence nearly 7 feet high will keep out these predators.

American Bird Conservancy Vice President George Wallace said in a statement the colony is a major step forward in stabilizing and recovering the bird’s Kauai population.

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