Why Hawaii is hand-feeding squid and fish to baby birds

In an effort to save a native Hawaiian seabird found nowhere else in the world, state and federal wildlife researchers and conservationists are removing young chicks from their nests and transporting them to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Known in Hawaiian as ʻaʻo, the Newell’s shearwater is an endangered species of puffin that makes it home in the Upper Limahuli Preserve on Kauai Island. But to save the native seabird, eight of the population’s baby birds were transported via helicopter to a protected habitat where they will stay until they are adults and fly out to sea.

“The predator-proof fence area within the refuge will provide a safe haven for the shearwaters which, like many other native Hawaiian bird species, are facing tremendous challenges with shrinking habitat and the onslaught of invasive species,” Heather Tonneson, project leader for the US Fish and Wildlife Service Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex, told the Associated Press. READ MORE.

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