Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Collaborative Habitat Conservation Plan for Kaua‘i Seabirds

March 11, 2020


Holly Richards 808-732-9531

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Collaborative Habitat Conservation Plan for Kaua‘i Seabirds

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment evaluating multiple, separate applications for take of endangered and threatened seabirds on the island of Kaua‘i . The draft environmental assessment includes an associated habitat conservation plan. Stakeholders on the island of Kaua‘i worked collaboratively to craft a single island-wide habitat conservation plan that would more effectively achieve long-term and cost-efficient recovery goals and would provide a more consistent and predictable regulatory approach. Both the draft environmental assessment and the habitat conservation plan will be available for public review and comment from March 12, 2020 through April 13, 2020.

The permits applications are for a 30-year term and would address take of the threatened Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli, Hawaiian name: ‘a‘o), the endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis, Hawaiian name: ‘ua‘u), and the endangered Hawai‘i distinct population segment (DPS) of the band-rumped storm-petrel (Oceanodroma castro, Hawaiian name: 'ake'ake ).

The three listed species of seabirds breed seasonally in Hawai‘i making the islands essential to the conservation of the species. These species are part of the unique natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i, and the island of Kaua‘i provides important breeding habitat for all three species.

Among the threats known to impact the listed seabird species is attraction to artificial lights, which has been observed and documented on Kaua‘i for decades. The Kaua‘i Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan (KSHCP) has been developed to address light attraction impacts to the listed seabirds on the island of Kaua‘i. The structure of the KSHCP enables multiple individual entities on Kaua‘i to each apply for take authorization for light attraction impacts to the listed seabird species under one coordinated framework. This framework takes advantage of economies of scale and enables a pooling of resources to collectively achieve conservation goals.

As outlined in Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, habitat conservation plans are voluntary agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company or non-federal agency that ensure harmful effects to threatened and endangered species are minimized or offset. The KSHCP associated with the permits relies on a unique structure to best meet the need for an effective and efficient response to the widespread nature of light attraction impacts on Kaua‘i.

To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods:

Internet: You may view or download copies of the HCP and draft EA and obtain additional information on the internet at

Email:  Include “Kaua‘i Seabird HCP/EA” in the subject line of the message.

U.S. Mail: You may obtain a compact disk with electronic copies of these documents by writing to Ms. Katherine Mullett, Acting Field Supervisor; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office; 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122; Honolulu, HI 96850.

Phone: 808–792–9400 during regular business hours.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339.

In order to be considered, comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or before April 13th, 2020. All comments and materials received become part of the public record associated with this action.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.