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Hawaii’s Forest Birds Sing the Blues. Kaua’i. Ki’ihau. Moloka’i. O’ahu. Laha’i. Maui. Kaho’olawe. Hawai’i. the 8 Hawaiian islands are very remote - over 2,500 miles from the nearest mainland. because of its isolation, Hawaii has some of the

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Hawaii’s Forest Birds

Sing the Blues


Kaua’i

Ki’ihau

Moloka’i

O’ahu

Laha’i

Maui

Kaho’olawe

Hawai’i

the 8 Hawaiian islands are very remote - over

2,500 miles from the nearest mainland

because of its isolation, Hawaii has some of the

world’s most amazing examples of adaptive radiation (you may want to look up this term)

and some of the

world’s

most devastating

ecological

disasters


Damselfly

Megalagrion spp.

Bishop’s O’o

Lobelia spp.

over 75% of the documented floral and faunal

extinctions in the U.S. occurred in Hawaii

1/3 of the species on the US endangered species list

are endemic to Hawaii


brought with them pigs, dogs,

rats, non-native plants

ecosystem destruction began with the arrival of the

Polynesians around 400 A.D.

slashed and burned lowland

forest to plant sweet potato and taro

European settlers arrived around 1778, with more of

the same, goats, pigs, cats, etc.

many more non-native species introduced as time progressed


Feral Pigs

one of the biggest problems facing the

Hawaiian ecosystem

no natural predators to

control the population - the pigs are overabundant

pigs consume large quantities of understory vegetation

- has to led to extinction of many native plant species - many of which Hawaiian birds needed for nectar, nesting cover, and for finding native insects

pigs “rooting” also exposes large areas of bare soil,

which favor non-native plant species and cause

soil erosion


Mosquitoes

non-native mosquitoes brought in 1880’s from

Mexico - in water barrels on whaling ships

carry avian malaria and pox which have been

devastating to native birds, who have no natural

resistance to these diseases

muddy wallows created by feral pig rooting creates

excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes which carry

disease


the introduced

Japanese White-eye

is now one of the most

common birds on the

Hawaiian islands

Competition from

Non-natives

non-native species

compete with natives

for resources such as

food and nesting space


Other Introduced

Mammals

Hawaii has only 1 native

terrestrial mammal - the

Hawaiian bat

rat populations grew without any native predators

mongooses imported to prey on rats - but rats are

nocturnal and mongoose diurnal - so mongooses had

to find other sources of food

both rats and mongoose prey upon bird eggs and

nestlings


From a painting by Douglas Pratt

Humans

aside from bringing all the

non-native species to

Hawaii...

many of the large flightless

birds were over-hunted

for food, before regulations governing the use of animals were made

80,000 individual birds contributed 800,000 feathers of the now extinct species, the Hawaii Mamo, to make just one ceremonial headdress for King Kamehameha in the late 1700’s


Negative

Synergism

the sum of all these

factors working

together has proved

devastating for Hawaii’s native birds

over half of Hawaii’s 140 historically described bird

species are now extinct, and 40% of those that remain are threatened/endangered

a similar fate has befallen many of Hawaii’s native

plants, herpetofauna, and invertebrate species


currently, management

is under way to contol

feral animal populations,

using exclosure, hunting, and other techniques

captive breeding programs are helpful in returning

more native species to the wild

Nene

There is still

time….


invasive plant control is also taking place

Ivy gourd or “scarlet fruited” gourd



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