Birder's Guide

MAY 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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The Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project (MFBRP) was formed and is funded and guided by the State of Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidance also is sought from partners including, but not limited to, the East Maui Watershed Partnership, Haleakala - National Park, Leeward Haleakala - Watershed Restoration Partnership, the American Bird Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, San Diego Zoo Global, and West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership. MFBRP operates as a part of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Continued on page 42 40 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2017 Maui's Kiwikiu mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) which in turn brought avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) into the remote areas of the rain- forest. Additionally, the introduction of other exotic animals—such as rats, mon- gooses, cats, and other forest birds— threaten Maui Parrotbills as predators and as competitors for food. Climate change and pressures from land use have caused parrotbills to retreat to higher altitudes. While they once resided in drier koa forests, they how have to eke out a living in incredibly wet 'o - hi'a forests. In this new habitat, heavy rainfall adds another challenge and often leads to very unproductive breeding seasons. Typically, between November and June, the female builds a nest out of Usnea lichens and twigs of pu - kiawe (Styphelia tameiameiae). Fledglings typically stay with both of their parents for 5–17 months to learn how to properly forage. This long dependency time restricts the species to a maximum of one chick per year. Furthermore, stud- ies from the Hanawi Natural Area Reserve in east Maui determined that a mere 19% of nests were successful and that, in many years of research, only 49 of 106 breeding pairs successfully produced a fledgling. The Maui Parrotbill was designated as an endangered species in 1967. Between 1976 and 1983, the population was calculated to be about 500 individuals, 71% of which occurred above 5,000 ft. (about 1500 m) in elevation. Since then, population sizes have remained consistent. In 1984, the Maui-Molokai Forest Birds Recovery Plan began building fences in east Maui in an attempt to mitigate the threat of feral un- n An adult male Maui Parrotbill perches in The Nature Conservancy's Waikamoi Preserve. Photo © Robby Kohley n Habitat recovery efforts for the endangered Maui Parrotbill are underway in designated areas on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Map © Rad Smitn Currently, Maui Parrotbills are restricted to exceptionally wet forest on the windward slopes of the island, such as shown here at Hanawi Natural Area Reserve. Photo © MFBRP

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