Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands
Moloka‘i Thrush / Myadestes lanaiensis rutha / ‘Oloma‘o
||The ‘oloma‘o is about 7 inches in length and has a dark brown top, and gray belly.
Habitat & Behavior:
The shy ‘oloma‘o lives mostly in wet ‘ōhi‘a forest with dense understory of mosses, vines, and tree ferns. It feeds mainly on fruits, berries, and insects. This species is extremely rare and local in elevations above 3,000 feet on Moloka‘i. The breeding biology is unknown. They have a quiet, melodious song.
|‘Oloma‘o - Painting by Sheryl Ives Boyton
Past & Present:
Once a common bird on Moloka‘i, the last confirmed signting of an ‘oloma‘o was in 1988 from Kamakou Peak. This bird was popular amongst collectors in the 19th century, which contributed to their decline in numbers. The destruction of suitable habitat has restricted the ‘oloma‘o to the wet ‘ōhi‘a forests above 3,000 feet elevation.
Active management of feral animals and alien plants in our dwindling forests is very important. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) works closely with other entities, including the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, USGS-BRD, the National Park Service, and The Nature Conservancy to conduct research and to protect much needed habitat for the ‘oloma‘o and other native birds.
The ‘oloma‘o was listed as an endangered species on October 13, 1970. The Service has written several recovery plans detailing actions necessary to protect and preserve Hawai‘i’s forest birds. The ‘oloma‘o is included in the Revised Recovery Plan for Hawaiian Forest Birds (2006).
September 20, 2012