Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

One Last Effort to Save the Akikiki from Extinction in Hawaii

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 12, 2021 12:01 am

Hawaiian Akiki rescue San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

The rescued Akikiki chick is seen being cared for by conservationists at the (MBCC), managed by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) have celebrated success in their efforts to rescue the last remants of the akikiki population from the Hawaiian rainforest. On December 5th 2021 they found one of four birds they are seeking out.

A 6 month old chick was rescued on Kaua'i and flown by helicopter to a neighboring island. The chick and its family are some of them the last remaining individuals of their critically endangered species.

It has been named Erica but at present its gender is not know. This will become evident in another six weeks.

Akikiki are a species of honeycreeper. They typically live at the highest elevations of the forest which has typically kept them safe from avian malaria. Unfortunately temperature increases from climate change have allowed the mosquitos to come higher and now threaten what was one a healthy population of akikiki.

Over 10 days a team of six biologists camped out in the forest for 10 days. The chick and other birds which can be found will be taken in to care at the Maui Bird Conservation Center (MBCC) managed by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

It is hoped that while the birds are kept safe at the MBCC their habitat can be reclaimed potentially through using a bacterium as a natural control for the mosquito population.

Akikiki or Hawaiian honeycreepers are tiny birds weighing less than a AAA battery. They are restricted to the wet, mountain forest of the Alaka'i Wilderness Preserve on Kauai.

The chick was brought to to the MBCC by helicopter. Following its landing at the Kahului airport it was quickly checked by SDZWA veterinarian Dr Deena Brenner who noted it was healthy and well.

It was taken by car to the MBCC and joined the 42 akikiki which are currently kept at the center. It is hoped that it will soon be joined by the rest of its family if they can be rescued in the future.

— AD —

Unfortunately for the akikiki remaining in the wild there is little time left in their race to survive. “Landscape-scale control of the mosquitoes that carry the disease killing these birds is still several years away,” Crampton said. “We estimate the ‘akikiki population only has two years left before malaria kills them all.”


While the work to control mosquitos is ongoing the SDZWA are working to ensure that as many individuals remaining in the wild are brought to safety.


At the Maui Bird Conservation Center, Dr. Brenner gave the new arrival a thorough medical examination. “The bird looks to be in really terrific condition,” Dr. Brenner said.


“It has excellent pectoral musculature. It has very good body weight, and is a fit, healthy bird. “We did notice that the bird’s eyes were slightly dull and its skin was dry, indicating mild dehydration, even though the bird had been eating throughout the day,” Dr. Brenner added.


“We gave the bird subcutaneous fluids to improve hydration and help the bird feel a bit better. It was a big day for this little bird.”


For 30 days, the ‘akikiki chick will be isolated in a quarantine facility, and will be getting anti-malarial medication in its food. “We think it’s possible this bird has been exposed to malaria out in the forest,” Dr. Brenner said. “In times of stress and change, birds may be more susceptible to getting sick, so it’s important to start her on treatment.”

Learn more about the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance on their website – San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Hawaiian Akiki rescue San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

The rescued Akikiki chick is seen being cared for by conservationists at the (MBCC), managed by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Most Popular Animal this Week


Credit: Under License

Redbubble Store.

AD

Baby Animals at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Baby Animals Ready to Greet Colombus Zoo Guests 

Red-Necked Wallaby Joey Marwell Zoo

Red-Necked Wallaby Joeys Pop Out the Pouch at Marwell Zoo 

African Lion Cubs Monarto Safari Park

Monarto Safari Park Lion Cubs Roar on to Exhibit 

We're Social. Follow Us

We share awesome animal content daily

Featured Animal

Quokka
Share via
Copy link