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Hawaii National Park lookout reopens after nene gosling moves away


    This nene gosling, left, shown in a Feb. 6 photo, was reared near Puu Puai Overlook. The overlook was reopened after the gosling and its family moved to their summer grounds, the National Park Service said today.


    Visitors at the recently reopened Puu Paui Overlook, which was renovated while the area was closed to protect breeding nene.


    This gosling, right, shown with a parent in a photo in late March, was raised near the Puu Puai Overlook at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.


    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park workers make repairs to the Puu Puai Overlook before it reopened recently.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has reopened Puu Puai Overlook after a six-month closure so that an endangered Hawaiian goose family could raise its gosling, the park announced today.

The nene parents and their single gosling have moved on to their summer grounds.

The gosling was the first to be reared in the area in a decade and is the grand gosling of the last goose raised there 10 years ago, a park biologist said in a statement.

“This year’s gosling was the fifth generation of the same nene family I’ve monitored over the years,” said Kathleen Misajon, a wildlife biologist at the park, in the release. “After a 10-year hiatus, it is really exciting to see this female return to a favored family spot.”

During the closure, park workers replaced missing boards and added a fresh coat of paint to the deck at Puu Puai Overlook that offers vistas of Kilauea Iki crater and trail. Puu Puai is a cindercone that formed during an eruption at Kilauea Iki crater in 1959.

More than 2,500 nene live in the islands, but in 1952 the population dwindled to just 30 geese, the park said. Park officials began trying to save the species from extinction in the 1970s, and today more than 250 wild birds live in the park.

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