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Here's how Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative's expansion plan could impact seabirds

Andre Raine / kauaiseabirdproject.org
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson
΄Ua΄u kani, also known as wedge-tailed shearwaters, are mainly dark brown-grey with light-colored white underparts. As their name describes, they have wedge-shaped tails. Their bills are long, slender, and slightly hooked. Their wingspan is over 3 feet.

The Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative’s expansion plans could mean more artificial light and power lines — and greater potential impact on seabirds and waterfowl. KIUC is preparing an environmental impact statement as part of its habitat conservation plan.

It involves filing what’s called an “incidental take” permit for vulnerable birds. What does “take” mean? To “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists Koa Matsuoka and Leila Nagatani spoke with The Conversation about KIUC's conservation plan.

The deadline for public input is Friday, July 8. This interview aired on The Conversation on July 6, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast.
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