Another ʻAkikiki Rescued from the ʻAlakai

According to a recent press release from the DLNR, another ʻAkikiki has been recovered from the forest, deep within the ʻAlakai Plateau. The ʻAkikiki rescue missions began last December when it was discovered that only a handful of  ʻAkikiki remain in the wild. The rapid decline of this species has been blamed on mosquitos carrying the vector for avian malaria. The situation is so dire that without intervention, the species faces imminent extinction in the wild.

Over the Labor Day weekend a team of scientists from KFBRP, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project (MFBRP), DLNR/PCSU along with bird care expert Peter Luscomb, captured the ʻAkikiki lovingly named “Carrot” for its orange leg bands, and transported him to the Maui Bird Conservation Center (MBCC). The Center is operated by the San Diego Wildlife Alliance.

“Carrot” is the father of “Erica” who was captured last December. The 37 captive ʻAkikiki are being held at MBCC in an effort to protect them from avian malaria. The rescue mission is part of a more extensive multi-agency plan to address the mosquito issue in critical forest bird habitat, in order to set-back the extinction clock for this species.

You can see a video of the rescue mission below.