Manu Minute: 'Akikiki of Kaua'i
Photo credit: Ann Tanimoto-Johnson / Keauhou Bird Conservation Center
'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.