Long ago, Kaua'i was a tropical paradise for native birds. They flew freely everywhere from the beach to the mountain tops in unspoiled habitat. As featured in a recent New York Times travel article, Kaua'i's native birds are spectacularly diverse and beautiful, but also terribly imperiled.
After humans first colonized the islands less than 2,000 years ago, many alien species were introduced - including invasive plants like Kahili ginger, non-native predators like rats and feral cats, and diseases carried by introduced mosquitoes - that have changed the islands forever. Humans also cleared much native forest that provided essential habitat for native forest birds.
Since then, at least seven unique forest bird species have gone extinct, and those that remain live only in the most pristine mountain areas. Populations of many native forest bird species are small or declining, and three species are federally endangered: Puaiohi, 'Akikiki, and 'Akeke'e.
The mission of the Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project is to promote knowledge, appreciation, and conservation of Kaua'i's native forest birds. Our efforts focus on the three federally endangered species, with the goal of facilitating recovery of their populations in the wild.