Stochastic events

Major hurricanes struck Kaua’i in 1983 and 1992, destroying and degrading native forest bird habitat, by creating gaps into which alien plants could expand, spreading invasive plants, and felling large canopy trees that are the favored nest sites of some species, such as ‘akikiki.  For example, large numbers of dead trees killed by hurricane Iniki in 1992 can still be seen in several areas where ‘akikiki have declined in abundance or disappeared. Some forest birds (for example, kama’o) have not been seen since Iniki. Single island endemics, like many of Kaua’i’s native birds, are inherently more vulnerable to extinction than widespread species because of the higher risks posed to a single population by random fluctuations in population size, and localized catastrophes such as hurricanes or fires.

Hurricane Iniki
Damage of Hurricane iniki