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Manu Minute: 'Akikiki of Kaua'i

'Akikiki, also known as Kaua'i creepers, are an endangered forest bird endemic to the island of Kaua'i.

Similar to nuthatches, these little birds forage for insects and spiders along the trunks of trees. They favor ʻōhiʻa and will climb and hang upside down in order to get at a particularly juicy bug.

As temperatures continue to warm, disease-carrying mosquitoes are invading the last high elevation strongholds for 'akikiki in the Alaka'i plateau of Kaua'i.

Fewer than 500 'akikiki remain. The Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project, along with the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC) and Maui Bird Conservation Center (MBCC), are working together to create a breeding population in captivity.

But it may take landscape scale eradication of mosquitoes to reverse the decline of the 'akikiki population.

Patrick Hart interests in the ecology and conservation of Hawaiian forests and forest birds stem from years of living in a primitive field camp as a graduate student in the 1990’s at Hakalau Forest National wildlife refuge.
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson is the Lab Manager & Research Technician in the Hart Lab/Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Bioacoustics Lab. She researches the ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation of our native Hawaiian forests, birds, and bats.
Savannah Harriman-Pote rejoined The Conversation in 2021 after interning for Hawaiʻi Public Radio in the summers of 2018 and 2019. She also produces HPR's podcast Manu Minute in collaboration with The University of Hawaii at Hilo. She was born and raised on the Big Island, and she collects public radio mugs.
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