Manu Minute: 'Akikiki of Kaua'i

Mar 31, 2021

ˊAkikiki, also known as Kauaˊi creepers, are an endangered forest bird endemic to the island of Kauaˊi.

Similar to nuthatches, these little birds forage for insects and spiders along the trunks of trees. They favor ohi‘a 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 ˊakikiki in the Alakaˊi plateau of Kauaˊi.

Fewer than 500 ˊakikiki remain. The Kauaˊi 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 ˊakikiki population.