More bird species are vulnerable to extinction in Hawaii than anywhere else in the United States. Before the arrival of humans, the Hawaiian Islands supported 113 bird species unique in the world, including flightless geese, ibis, rails, and 59 species of Hawaiian honeycreepers.
Since humans arrived, 71 bird species have become extinct and 31 more are federally listed as threatened or endangered. Of these, 10 have not been seen in as long as 40 years and may be extinct. Humans have introduced many bird species from other parts of the world: 43% of 157 species are not native. Among landbirds, 69% are introduced species.
Hawaii’s native birds and habitats are under siege from invasive species and disease. Immediate action is needed to prevent birds from going extinct within our lifetimes.
Targeted trapping and use of rodenticides to reduce numbers of nonnative predators such as rats, cats, and mongoose will improve nesting success and survivorship of birds.