Wetlands throughout Hawaii support six endangered, endemic waterbird species as well as many wetland-associated migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Wetland habitats also support more than 200 federally-listed threatened or endangered plants and animals.
Numerous factors have led to the decline of Hawaiian waterbird populations, including habitat loss and degradation, avian disease, non-native predators and altered freshwater hydrology. Wetlands on the islands will also be affected by climate-driven factors such as salt water intrusion and changes in temperature and rainfall patterns.
Pacific Birds has been working with partners on planning, prioritization and on the ground projects for a decade in Hawaii, and we will continue that work. With a new focus, we will expand our efforts to seek out new funding, improve coastal wetland monitoring, strengthen legislation and policy, and encourage additional acquisition, management and stewardship activities that benefit waterbirds.
We are currently updating the Strategic Plan for Wetland Conservation in Hawaii to guide conservation efforts. The update will include current information on wetland condition and loss, bird population status and trends, a ranking of habitat threats, and a spatially explicit prioritization of wetlands. The updated plan will also include strategies for project implementation, outreach and communications.
Aeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt) Photo – Bill Hebner