The Latest Buzz on Saving Kauaʻi’s Forest Birds

The Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project staff are still hard at work trying to protect the most vulnerable birds on Kauaʻi, but our work is being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as our funding and resources have become limited.

Meanwhile, the birds have been fighting their own pandemic: the spread of avian diseases like avian poxvirus (Avipoxvirus) and avian malaria caused by the blood-borne parasite, Plasmodium relictum. These diseases are spread by mosquitos, which are now penetrating remote forest bird habitat as a result of climate change. Preliminary data from the this year’s mosquito surveys suggest that disease-carrying mosquitos are not only moving deeper into the forest but are also becoming more abundant in key forest bird habitat.

The iconic and threatened ʻiʻiwi is particularly susceptible to avian malaria, suffering 90% mortality upon infection. Kauaʻi’s endangered birds are on the brink of extinction with fewer than 500 individuals remaining in some cases.

Kauaʻi’s native forest birds cannot avoid disease by wearing masks or using curb-side pickup like humans do. Instead they rely on the availability of habitat and food to improve their resilience while they wait for us to develop methods to control mosquitoes across the landscape.

The team at KFBRP is currently investigating a variety of strategies for mosquito abatement, but we could sure use your help! (Check out our mosquito FAQ for more info). Your contribution can help fund the research conducted by KFBRP that can give these birds a fighting chance.

Buzz on over to the donate link and make a difference today!

All 2022 Holiday Season donors will receive our printable ‘I‘iwi Christmas ornament.

T-shirts & Masks

T-shirts are also available through our BONFIRE STORE and make thoughtful holiday gifts and stocking stuffers.

To Donate by Check:

The Kaua’i Forest Bird Recovery Project accepts charitable donations via our non-profit sponsor, Garden Island Research Conservation and Development. Checks should be made out to GIRCD and sent to:

PO Box 27

Hanapepe, HI 96716

How can helping Kauaʻi’s forest birds benefit you and your family?

The importance of Kauaʻi’s forest birds cannot be underestimated. As key pollinators and seed distributors, they are critical to the health of Kauaʻi’s and Hawaiʻi’s forests, which perform ecosystem functions, such as water purification and flood management. Successful mosquito control will not only benefit the forest and the birds but could also potentially lead to reduced transmission of mosquito borne human diseases like Zika and Dengue.