Mauna Kea’s high-elevation dry forest and the palila that live here are under constant threat from introduced animals, plants, insects, diseases, drought, and fire.
With severe drought conditions, many trees die off completely.
Climate change appears to be responsible for drought that is contributing to the decline of the palila population. Drought conditions occurred on Mauna Kea in 74% of months from 2000–2011. When drought occurs māmane trees have less energy and the result is that fewer pods are produced. Fewer pods for palila to eat means fewer nestlings are hatched and fewer palila (adults and nestling) survive, which causes the population to decrease.
Drought conditions have been exacerbated with global climate change.