Maui Nui ʻAkialoa

Maui Nui ʻAkialoa

Maui Nui ʻAkialoa


  • Common Name: Maui Nui ʻakialoa  
  • Scientific:  Akialoa lanaiensis 


No available recordings.

Conservation Status 

 Extinct. Last recorded sighting in the wild in 1894.

Species Information 

There are different species of ʻakialoa across the southwest Hawaiian Islands. Originally, the species were lumped. As time progressed, the differences between the ʻakialoa across the islands were considered significant enough to classify them as their own species. The Maui Nui ʻakialoa is thought to have been more similar to the Kauaʻi ʻakialoa than those species found on Oʻahu and Hawai’i Island (Olson 1995). Their long beak enabled them to eat bugs and the nectar of native flowers such as those from ʻōhiʻa trees. Due to their brief recognized history and limited fossils dispersed across the world, an accurate image of what these birds looked like is hard to produce (Pratt 2005). They were similar to ʻamakihi, yet their bill sizes were slightly larger. This honeycreeper who was once familiar across Maui Nui is now extinct, last seen on Lanaʻi in 1894. 


Maui Nui, to include Lanaʻi.


 Specimens were collected above Koʻele on Lānaʻi, and individuals were seen near Lānaʻihale (Pyle & Pyle 2017).


Causes of the decline of this species are unknown. However, Maui Nui ʻakialoa likely were susceptible to the same factors that threaten other native Hawaiian forest birds, including loss and degradation of habitat, predation by introduced mammals, and disease. Munro (1927, 1944, 2007, in Pyle & Pyle 2017) believed that the clearing of ʻakoko forests for pineapple fields caused the decline of the Maui Nui ʻakialoa.


Maui Nui ʻakialoa. John Gerrard Keulemans

John Gerrard Keulemans, Public Domain via Wikimedia.

Additional Resources 

Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017)

Atkinson, C. T., & LaPointe, D. A. (2009). Introduced Avian Diseases, Climate Change, and the Future of Hawaiian Honeycreepers. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 23(1), 53–63. 

Olson, S. L., & James, H. F. (1995). Nomenclature of the Hawaiian akialoas and nukupuus (Aves: Drepanidini). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 

Pratt, H. D. (2014). A consensus taxonomy for the Hawaiian honeycreepers. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, 1(85), 1. 

Pratt, H. D. 2005. The Hawaiian honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Bird Families of the World. Oxford, Oxford University Press.