Endangered Beauty

Portraits of Hawaii's Vanishing Forest Birds

The survival of the 'i'iwi is threatened by habitat destruction and avian diseases. Once common on all islands, it is now found only on Kauaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island.

Found only Maui, the critically endangered ‘ākohekohe, or crested honeycreeper, is one of Hawaii's largest nectar-feeding birds.

The ʻakepa is one of Hawaii’s smallest forest birds. Extinct on O’ahu and Maui, it is now found only in high-elevation, old-growth rainforest on Hawaiʻi Island. 

This small, finch-like bird is only found in high-elevation rainforests on Kaua'i. Recently listed as endangered, the ʻakekeʻe is down to fewer than 4,000 individuals.

An endangered thrush found only on Kauaʻi, the puaiohi inhabits a small 7.6-mile area of the Alakaʻi wilderness. It's population is a mere 200 to 300 individuals.

The ʻakiapōlāʻau uses its two-part beak to extract beetle grubs from large trees. Found only on Hawai'i Island, its population is an estimated 1,150 individuals.

Known as the guardian spirit of canoe makers in old Hawaiʻi, the ʻelepaio is still common on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island but exceedingly rare on Oʻahu.

The kiwikiu, or Maui parrotbill, is found only within a range of 19 square miles on the high windward slopes of Maui’s Mt. Haleakalā. Its population is a mere 500 individuals.

The ʻalalā, the islands’ only crow, once ranged widely on Hawaiʻi Island. But over the last 100 years it has suffered dramatic declines and is now extinct in the wild.

Threatened by avian diseases, the ʻakikiki is now found only in the high-altitude rainforests of Kauaʻi, where an estimated 1,500 individuals survive. 

The ‘alauahio, or Maui creeper, was once found on Lāna‘i and West Maui. Today, it can only been seen on the windward slopes of East Maui.  

The sub-alpine slopes of Mauna Kea are the last bastion for for the palila, a critically endangered honeycreeper that depends on the māmane tree for its survival.


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