Haleakala Releases Rare Bird
Ever hear of a bird called a Nene? I had not until I read a press release from Haleakala National Park telling me that 17 of them had been released into the park. The birds are a Hawaiian Goose which are endangered. In a cooperative effort between the Park Service, the State of Hawaii, and a couple of non-profits, these birds will be flown by helicopter to a remote part of the park and released. The effort to recover the nene population in Hawaii was started back in 1962. Park biologist Cathleen Bailey notes "the Haleakala Nene population is now barely surviving with an estimated 250 individual Nene and they are not increasing. Biologists found that while adult Nene thrive at Haleakala, young goslings have a difficult time surviving because of limited food resources." The Nene were hatched and reared at the Maui Bird Conservation Center with funds coming through a program called Adopt-a-Nene.