Invasive Japanese bird has caused declines in 8 native species populations in Hakalau Forest NWR

ScienceDaily (May 23, 2012) — Biologists Leonard Freed and Rebecca Cann from the University of Hawaii at Manoa have been studying birds at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge for 20 years. Located on an old cattle ranch on the windward slope of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii, it was established in 1985 to protect 8 species of rare and endangered perching birds. The refuge and its volunteers planted over 400,000 seedlings of native koa trees in an abandoned pasture to restore high elevation forest.

The once-rare white-eye colonized the restoration area, grew rapidly in it, but then surged into the old-growth forest below. Freed and Cann estimated that tens of thousands of native birds were lost.

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