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Manu Minute: The Royal ‘Io

The 'io is the only endemic hawk found in Hawai'i. While fossil records show that 'io once occupied nearly all of the Hawaiian islands, the only remaining established populations are on the Big Island.

'Io occupy large territories from sea level to over 10,000 feet in elevation. They are opportunistic predators that feed on invasive rodents. But as these mammal-based meals were few and far between prior to the arrival of humans in the Hawaiian islands — with the exception of the Hawaiian hoary bat — 'io also hunt both native and introduced birds.

Just last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the 'io from the
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

This Manu Minute was made with field recordings from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML5197).

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 completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, during which time she worked for WMHC and Mount Holyoke News. She has also worked with the audio documentary series Outer Voices and National Geographic.
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