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Hawaiian Electric prepares conservation plan for native Maui birds

Jim Denny

Hawaiian Electric is developing a long-term plan to protect Maui’s native birds.

Its Habitat Conservation Plan will be written in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The plan includes altering Hawaiian Electric infrastructure that stands in the flight path of the ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian petrel). Colonies of Hawaiian petrels currently live near such infrastructure on Maui.

The company plans to collect data on avian harm mitigation and develop plans to minimize those risks.

"It takes a long time to get a habitat conservation plan approved because you’re dealing with now the federal government and the state government, and there’s a lot of checks going back and forth," said senior environmental scientist Sean Moura.

Moura said he expects to finalize the Habitat Conservation Plan by 2027.

"Lots of researchers that are comparing notes and identifying that the methodologies and technologies being used are indeed appropriate to collect the information needed to make the best decision on behalf of the species," Moura told HPR.

Hawaiian Electric is a member of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee — a national organization that leads the electric utility industry in protecting avian wildlife.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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