Manu Minute: The rare ʻalae ʻula
The endemic ʻalae ʻula is one of a handful of subspecies of the common gallinule, but there's nothing common about this waterbird.
With fewer than 1,000 individuals remaining, the ʻalae ʻula is one of the rarest birds in Hawaiʻi.
Though once found on nearly all the Hawaiian islands, ʻalae ʻula populations are now restricted to Kauaʻi and Oʻahu, with a handful of sightings on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island.
Destruction of wetlands and predation by cats and dogs are the main culprits of the ʻalae ʻula's decline.
In moʻolelo, the ʻalae ʻula got its distinctive red face marking after a run-in with the demigod Māui. Listen to Patrick Hart share the story in this Manu Minute!
Audio credit: Tim Burr, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML234898)