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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

On Mauna Kea

At the end of yesterday's blog, I wrote that we were off to see the endangred Palila on Mauna Kea, a volcano that stands at almost 14,000 feet.

Well, we did see the endangered Palila along the western flank of the volcano. It's a striking bird with yellow shoulders and a formidable stubby bill for breaking into the seed pods of the Mamane tree.

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Working Together to Preserve and Protect

Monday and Tuesday I've was back in Hawaii, meeting with refuge and law enforcement staff, and visiting some truly inspirational places.

At Ka'ena Point, on the northwest corner of Oahu, I saw how we have worked with our state partners to build an exclusionary fence and remove dogs, cats, mongoose, rats, and mice from this sensitive area. The response has been rapid. Laysan albatross are nesting, and the Secretary of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (William Aila) boasted that, "One day this area will look like Midway Atoll, with thousands of nesting albatross."
William Aila Talks about the land at Ka'ena Point Credit: USFWS

Landed on the Pacific Islands

Today was the first day of my 5-day tour of our Pacific Islands operations. 

The first day was filled with good people. I met with staff in our Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, had lunch with Division of Forestry and Wildlife Chief, Paul Conroy, visited with Governor Neil Abercrombie, and met with the partners in the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC).

In the evening we boarded a jet for the trip to Midway Atoll NWR, home to some of most amazing wildlife in the world.  The plane flies at night to avoid potential for collisions with one of the million-plus albatross nesting on the islands of the Atoll. I'll be posting new photos later on in the trip, but here is an old shot taken on the Refuge just to give you a sense what this many birds can look like:

 

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