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Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Save Endangered Native Birds on Kaua?i

Ludovic Hirlimann
Wikimedia Commons

A Kaua?i 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 Kaua?i Forest Bird Recovery Project is using the fundraising platform once more to raise 50,000 dollars to research and eradicate mosquitos in the Kaua?i 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 ?Akikiki and the Puaiohi.

The ?Akeke?e are also highly vulnerable, with less than 1,000 individuals left. The ?Akeke?e population has plummeted by more than 90% in the last decade. And the dramatic declines of the ?I?iwi population on Kaua?i is one of the reasons it was listed as "threatened" last September.

The ʻakekeʻe is also endemic to Kauaʻi.
Credit Carter Atkinson / USGS

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. 

More information can be found at kauaiforestbirds.org/donate or here

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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