…a species of Hawaiian Honeycreeper (Carduelinae) that is endemic to Hawaii, specifically the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Lānaʻi, Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi and Oʻahu. ‘Apapane typically inhabit mesic an wet forests which are dominated by koa (Acacia koa) and ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha). They typically form small flocks and will forage through the canopies of M. polymorpha feeding on the nectar from their flowers. Like other birds they will supplement this diet with a variety of insects as well.
A project to reintroduce these little brown birds helps protect them from extinction.
by Emma Bryce
In 2011 a rescue mission more than 30 years in the making began to unfold in the Pacific Islands. Scientists were embarking on an expedition to reintroduce the Millerbird to a northwest Hawaiian atoll called Laysan Island. The nondescript little brown bird was last seen there in 1923, after having its habitat destroyed by introduced rabbits and livestock.
The biologists planned to capture birds from a nearby rocky outcrop called Nihoa Island—the Millers’ last stronghold—and transport them nearly 650 miles by boat to Laysan’s shore. The stakes were high: There were only about 800 Millers left, and moving even a small number of them seemed risky. But it was worth it, they decided.
"We believed that if the birds survived the trip, they would flourish," says Sheldon Plentovich, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restoration ecologist, who planned the translocation.
The expedition made the three-day voyage twice, carrying a total of 50 birds, which appeared “unflappable,” says Plentovich. “Even in the boat, they were eating the whole time.” In the end, they all survived, and Laysan now supports more than 125 individuals…
This was shot here on Maui. These juveniles look very different from the adult Rockmover wrasse. They are found from East Africa to the Americas. Pretty common here but not real easy to shoot. This one was particularly friendly.
Anas laysanensis lives only on the Hawaiian island of Laysan, although it was once widespread across the archipelago. It feeds mainly at night on aquatic invertebrates, seeds, and algae. They also run through swarms of brine flies with an open bill to catch them. Breeding usually occurs between April and June, and the female lays four eggs per clutch.
As the population of A. laysanensis is very small, it is under threat from disease and severe weather conditions. An invasive weed species has reduced the availability of breeding habitat, and invasive invertebrates compete with the ducks’ food sources. A parasitic nematode worm (Echinuria uncinata) is also having a negative impact on the population.
Laysan Island is protected as a National Wildlife Refuge, and A. laysanensis is listed under Appendix I of CITES. Invasive weeds are under control, and a successful translocation of some ducks saw a new insurance population set up on Midway Atoll. Another reintroduction to the island of Kahoolawe has also been proposed.
Common names: Brushytoothed Butterflyfish, Pyramid Butterfly, Pyramid Butterflyfish, Shy Butterflyfish.
This species is widespread in the central and western Pacific from Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean to Pitcairn north to southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to northern New South Wales and Rapa Iti. It has a depth range of 3-60 m.
Hemitaurichthys polylepis is a common and widespread species. It is planktivorous and could be affected by climate-induced reductions in planktonic productivity. There do not appear to be any current threats to this species and it is listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.
The Giant Triton or Triton’s trumpet, Charonia tritonis (Mollusca - Gastropoda - Ranellidae), is one of the biggest snails in the reefs, growing up to 2 feet long.
Many people think its shell is one of the most gorgeous in the world. Though the Giant Triton looks harmless, it is a predator and uses its teeth (radula) to inject its prey with a poison found in its spit. The poison stuns, or paralyzes, its prey, which the triton then eats alive at leisure.
This species is found throughout the Indo-Pacific oceans, Red Sea included.
This shark’s teeth resemble those of Goblin Sharks, Frilled Sharks and Viperfish, but it’s actually a squaloid. This is remarkable because no other dogfish sharks have teeth that are so large, slender, and widely-spaced; they would appear to be more suited for grasping rather than cutting prey. This species was first discovered off Japan in 1986, described as Trigonognathus kabeyaiin 1990, and given the common name “Viper Dogfish” in 2000.
The diminutive ʻElepaio (pronounced “el-a-pie-o”) had remarkable powers, according to native Hawaiians. Canoe-builders considered the bird an incarnation of their patron goddess Lea: If the bird pecked at a fallen koa tree, it was a sign that the tree was riddled with insects and unusable for boat-building. Farmers believed that this insectivorous bird was the incarnation of Lea’s sister goddess, Hina-pukuʻai, a patron of agriculture.
This bold and adaptable bird may indeed follow people when they enter its forest habitat, and quickly learns to exploit feeding opportunities created by human activity. Unfortunately, the Oʻahu ‘Elepaio—an Old World monarch flycatcher—is in serious decline on its native island, where it was once among the most common land birds. Declines have been so severe that the species is listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It is also a U.S. WatchList species…
Fourth-graders from Kauai’s Island School will release fledging endangered Newell Shearwaters on Oct. 28.
The birds had been rehabilitated by the Save Our Shearwaters Program, which is a Department of Land and Natural Resources’s forestry and wildlife project, administered by the Pacific Co-operative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii. The Save Our Shearwaters Program is housed at the Kauai Humane Society.
On Thursday, students from Wilcox Elementary School released five fledgling ‘A’o or Newell’s Shearwaters(Puffinus newelli) as part of the annual E Ho’opomaika’i ‘ia na Manu ‘A’o (A Cultural Release of the Native Newell’s Shearwater) event.
The ‘A’o is an endangered seabird found only on the Hawaiian Islands. Kauai is the last main refuge of the species with an estimated 90 percent of the world population found on the island…
Monachus schauinslandi is the only true seal to live in tropical waters all year round. It is usually found around uninhabited islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago. To cope with this, it have some adaptations to living in a warm climate. These include being active mainly at night, and spending the day hauled out on beaches. It feeds on a variety of different prey items, such as fish, eels, and octopus.
Numbers of M. schauinslandi have been declining for a long time, and it was hunted intensively during the 1800s. Pollution causes the seals to become entangled in fishing nets, and a lack of food are believed to be the main threats to this species.
M. schauinslandi has been protected under the United States Endangered Species List since 1976. It is also monitored by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which surveys breeding colonies to find out the size of the population. In 2000, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve was created to try to protect this species further.