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  운영자 2005-03-02 22:30:08 | Hit : 19109 | Vote : 7834
Subject   [소식] Rare bird released to wild
제목 : Rare bird released to wild

18 puaiohi raised in captivity are being returned to their habitat on Kauai - Associated Press

Eighteen endangered puaiohi birds raised in captivity on the Big Island and Maui are being released into their native habitat on Kauai, wildlife officials said this week.

The birds will be released, six at a time, over a period of five weeks in the Alakai Wilderness Area, according to a joint statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the San Diego Zoo and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which collaborated on the release. The zoo's Hawaii's Endangered Bird Conservation program worked with the federal and state agencies to build a sustainable population of the birds in the wild.

Each bird is fitted with a radio transmitter that will relay signals allowing biologists to monitor its movements, health and range, the statement said.

The birds were raised at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center on the Big Island and the Maui Bird Conservation Center.

The puaiohi, also known as the small Kauai thrush, is a small songbird that has been reduced to a single isolated population in the wet forest of the Alakai preserve, the statement said. The species is believed to number fewer than 500.

The decline of the population is attributed to animals, invasive alien plants, introduced predators and diseases.

More than half of Hawaii's surviving songbirds are listed as endangered by the state and federal governments.

"We have been able to release 95 captive-reared puaiohi back into the wilderness since 1999, and we believe these recruits are making a significant contribution to the recovery of the population," said Alan Lieberman, director of the zoo's propagation efforts in Hawaii.

Not all attempts to save endangered bird species in Hawaii have been successful.

In November a po'ouli living at the Maui Bird Conservation Center died after two months in captivity, possibly sending the species into extinction. The remaining two rare Hawaiian honeycreepers, believed to be a male and a female, have not been seen for nearly a year. They might have died, moved to another area or just have been missed by wildlife officials.

"The loss of the only captive po'ouli was a clear demonstration of the urgent need to take action to save species before they dwindle to such low numbers," said Scott Fretz, wildlife program manager for the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
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