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2012 Ka‘ahahui o ka Nāhelehele Dryland Symposium

2012_8: Jack Jeffrey "Hawaii's Forest Birds and Dryland Forest: A prospective from wet forest habitats"

About 5 million years ago, a small flock of finches arrived from Asia to an isolated archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Through adaptive radiation, and ecological opportunity, almost 60 species of Hawaiian Honeycreepers evolved. Today, only 18 of these remain. Since the first human migration about 1,400 years ago, humans have triggered an extinction crisis in Hawaii by creating habitat change through agricultural practices, introducing many alien species including large mammal herbivores, mammal predators, numerous invertebrates and invasive plants. Today, conservationists are attempting to slow or reverse this trend through habitat protection, forest restoration, reforestation, alien species prevention and control, captive propagation, and public awareness and education. Conservation efforts in places such as Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, on the Big Island of Hawaii, show that management does work in preserving and enhancing native habitat and preventing forest bird and endangered plant declines. Wildlife photographer, retired wildlife biologist, and long- Big Island resident Jack Jeffrey discusses the challenges faced by native birds in greatly altered forests, the efforts to restore them, and shows some spectacular photos of these birds that have become so rare.

This talk was presented at the 2012 Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium: "Connections" on February 24th, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The symposium highlight dryland forest ecology and restoration efforts in Hawai‘i.

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