A Kauaʻi organization is asking for public support to help save endangered native bird species on the island.
On the heels of a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project is using the fundraising platform once more to raise 50,000 dollars to research and eradicate mosquitos in the Kauaʻi rainforest.
The KFBRP says there are three endangered forest bird species on the island at risk of imminent extinction. It is believed there are less than 500 individual ʻAkikiki and the Puaiohi.
The ʻAkekeʻe are also highly vulnerable, with less than 1,000 individuals left. The ʻAkekeʻe population has plummeted by more than 90% in the last decade. And the dramatic declines of the ʻIʻiwi population on Kauaʻi is one of the reasons it was listed as "threatened" last September.
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as Avian Malaria, are deadly to native bird species like Hawaiian honeycreepers – which haven’t evolved with the presence of the disease. Researchers believe about 90% of individuals die after being bitten by a mosquito with the disease.
The group wants to combat the disease, but lacks sufficient funding from the government; that’s why they are turning to the public for help.
Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton is the Project Coordinator for the KFBRP.
Dr. Crampton says the rest of the funds will be used to fund laboratory research and supplies.
As of 10 AM on Monday, March 19th, the group has raised nearly $5,500. The campaign ends May 31st.