Expanded restoration of indigenous practices will more than compensate for projected losses of endangered waterbird habitat.
That’s the finding of researchers from the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, which they hope will provide useful information in discussions at the federal level to down-list the endangered aeʻo to the level of “threatened.”
While the ae‘o population has been increasing in the past decades, it has not yet reached 2,000 individuals—a key threshold for downlisting.
“Much of the aeʻo’s core nesting habitat, which is the foundation of its increasing population numbers, is projected to be gone by 2100 due to sea-level rise,” says Kristen Harmon, a PhD candidate.
“Aeʻo only have a 7% survival rate from egg to fledging due to heavy predation from invasive mammals, birds, bullfrogs, and even crabs!” adds Melissa Price. “That’s a very concerning level of survival, unlikely to result in recovery unless we can address the invasive predator and nesting habitat issues.”
Read the full story in UH News. Read the full scientific article, The role of indigenous practices in expanding waterbird habitat in the face of rising seas.