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Thursday, September 22, 2016

From the News: Release planned for native bird species extinct in the wild

Among the most endangered birds in the world are those that are found only on islands, far removed from land.  Evolving in an absence of mammalian predators, they lose the natural wariness (and sometimes the physical ability to fly) that protect their mainland kin from danger.  They also tend to have small population sizes and very specialized diet and habitat requirements.  The tragic case study of the birds of the Mariana Islands is one example.  Hawaii is another.

And that's what makes the latest news so exciting - the San Diego Zoo, partnered with state and federal wildlife agencies, is restoring the 'alala, or Hawaiian crow after it had been declared extinct in the wild.  Hopefully the success of this project will lead to an established, sustainable wild population, and similar reintroduction projects can take place with other Hawaiian birds.

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