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Elepaio Restoration

PIFWO, in partnership with Pacific Rim Conservation and Ohulehule Forest Conservancy, is working to protect Oahu Elepaio populations and restore native forest habitat to windward Oahu.

  • The Oahu Elepaio is a territorial, non-migratory monarch flycatcher endemic to the island of Oahu. The species was once abundant and widespread throughout Oahu. However, threats like predation by rats and avian malaria have caused this species to be listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Recent surveys show that total population on the island of Oahu was about 1,200 birds in 2012.

    In windward Oahu, population plummeted to about 30 birds in 2013. These birds mostly resided in Waikane and Kahana valleys. It became vital to reduce threats to the Elepaio of windward Oahu. Controlling avian malaria was a difficult task; however, integrated pest management proved to be more effective. Restoring native forest habitat was also projected to promote population increase of the Oahu Elepaio, as well as reduce the number of rats.

    Unfortunately, as of 2014 only 6 Elepaio are left in Waikane Valley. Conserving them will continue to be a challenge; however, integrated pest management has proven to be the most successful method of restoration efforts. Two pairs of Elepaio attempted to nest, but the results are currently unknown.

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