Manu Minute: Kauaʻi's last thrush
The puaiohi and the ʻōmaʻo are the last surviving members of the thrush family in the islands. The puaiohi calls Kauaʻi home. Like the kiwikiu, its territory is restricted to a small patch of rain forest on the Alakaʻi Plateau, where they nest along the banks of streams.
Researchers and conservationists have worked for decades to bring the critically-endangered puaiohi back from the brink of extinction. A captive breeding program released almost 200 birds back into the wild, though not all survived. Their population currently stands at about 500 individuals. While that number seems to be increasing, their future is still precarious.
The puaiohi isn't the most eye-catching songbird on the Garden Isle, but it does an important job. It is one of the best native seed dispersers among all of the bird species on Kauaʻi, a critical role that ensures the survival of our native forests.