USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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Hawaiian seabird species are impacted by non-native predators and habitat degradation.  Studies of ecology and habitat use, as well as the impact of predators, can help protect these threatened species.

Hawaii Petrel Seabird in flight with wings spread wide --Photographer: Ron LeValley
Hawaii currently supports three seabirds listed as Endangered or Threatened under the US Endangered Species Act and by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources: Hawaiian Petrel, Newell’s Shearwater, and Hawaiian Band-rumped Storm-Petrel. Predation and habitat degradation by non-native, invasive species are the principal terrestrial threats to these rare, endemic seabirds. Additional significant threats include human alteration of critical habitats, excessive night lighting, and civil and governmental infrastructure. Little is known about these species’ overall at-sea distributions, foraging ranges, and high-use areas at sea, and thus we have scant knowledge of the threats these birds may face in the pelagic environment. Important prerequisites for conservation actions include (1) obtaining precise locations of remaining remote, montane nesting areas, (2) refining techniques for population assessment and methods for tracking trends in abundance, (3) evaluating and refining strategies for mammalian predator and ungulate control, and (4) identifying important at-sea habitats used for commuting and feeding.

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