Ongoing Release Efforts

Posted on Aug 30, 2019 in News & Events

The ʻAlalā Project is continuing the ongoing reintroduction efforts of ʻAlalā. Another group of birds released this week to Pu’u Maka’ala Natural Area Reserve will be the first of the 2019 release cohort, with another release scheduled for early September.
Through the reintroduction process, there have been milestones for the project, such as the formation of breeding pairs and the construction of the first wild nests in almost 20 years. There have also been some setbacks and obstacles to overcome. It is important to learn as much information from these situations for use in guiding ongoing and future release efforts to make them more successful. The road to species recovery is challenging and it can take many years for the species to establish.
Recently, the ʻAlalā Project field team had to process some of these difficult challenges, first-hand but they have remained dedicated to the recovery of ʻAlalā. Mele, a male from the 2017 cohort, was recently found dead with wounds suggesting he was depredated by an ʻIo. Another 2017 cohort male, Kalokomaikaʻi, has been receiving care at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center after having some minor injuries in the wild, and he is scheduled to be re-released later this month, along with the 2019 cohort. A 2017 cohort female, ʻAwa, has not been able to be located for the past month after her transmitter stopped emitting a signal.
While these recent events can be challenging, the potential for loss in reintroductions is a reality, and the reasons for loss are often part of the ecosystem as well. We appreciate all of the support that our followers have shown throughout the reintroduction efforts, we are all working together to strengthen the community and provide ʻAlalā with the resources they need to thrive again in their forest homes.
Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Global