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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 Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

Manu Minute, Io Spectrogram Video.mp4

Audio credit: Doug Pratt/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (ML5197)

Patrick Hart is the host of HPR's Manu Minute. He runs the Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
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 is a producer for The Conversation and Manu Minute. Contact her at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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