The Puaiohi, an endangered thrush found only on the island of Kaua'i.  Photo by Lucas Behnke.

The Puaiohi, an endangered thrush found only on the island of Kaua’i. Photo by Lucas Behnke.

Episode Summary:

Cali bio pic - Photos by Brittany Lyte

Our guest on today’s show is Lisa “Cali” Crampton, an expert on the forest birds of Kaua’i, the fourth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago.  Cali’s work as the project leader for the Kaua’i Forest Bird Recovery Project is focused on three endangered bird species that are found only on the island of Kaua’i; the Puaiohi, the ‘Akeke’e, and the ‘Akikiki (click the names to see photos and natural history info on each species).  We discuss the threats faced by each of these endangered birds, and what Cali and her team are doing to address the situation.

Cali and I also discuss some of the larger implications of her work, and the importance of issues like climate change and invasive species in these efforts to save Kaua’i’s endemic forest birds.  Although these birds continue to face serious threats, Cali points out some important new findings that are extremely positive.  It appears as though the ‘Akeke’e and ‘Akikiki are developing some resistance to the introduced disease that has played a significant role in their declines.

For the Puaiohi however it is the introduced rats that are the main cause of population declines, but Cali is confident that they will be able to better control the rat problem.  Her plan is to use a new trap design that is able to catch up to 20 mice at a time before needing to be checked, along with fencing that partially restricts access to some of the best forest bird habitat.  Its good to hear from someone who has a positive outlook on a particularly tricky conservation issue!  (above photo by Brittany Lyte) 

 

Links:

The Kaua’i Forest Bird Recovery Project

A series of videos from Hawaii shot by Wild Lens senior editor Joey Leibrecht, who worked on Cali’s field crew in 2012.

 

Listen to the podcast episode here:






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