The Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project has launched an end-of-the-year “Songs Not Silence” campaign on GoFundMe to help native birds on the Garden Isle recover from threats, including mosquitoes and rats, which have decimated their populations.
The project, a joint program between the state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife and University of Hawaii, is aiming to raise $25,000 to help fund helicopter flights to remote locations, radio transmitters to help track the birds, mist nets to help catch them for tracking, sampling and disease screenings as well as interns to help with research efforts. They also need to purchase canisters with water and bags of alfalfa to help lure mosquitoes for control efforts.
Many of Kauai’s forest bird species have been threatened by mosquito-borne avian malaria and other environmental threats. Mosquito-disease control and rat trapping work are needed to help recover bird populations.
Funding is especially needed for research on the akekee and puaiohi, two critically endangered forest birds which exist only on Kauai. Only about 1,000 akekee remain in the wild. They are threatened by avian malaria spread by mosquitoes. The population of puaiohi, or small Kauai thrush, is also down to just about 500 individuals in the wild.
Donations can also be made at kauaiforestbirds.org, or by checks made out to Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development Inc. sent by U.S. postal mail to KFBRP, P.O. Box 27, Hanapepe HI, 96716.