Saving Aeʻo 11 May 2021

Saving Aeʻo

A new NREM study finds hope for the endangered Hawaiian stilt

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.

Game of Thropods 4 May 2021

Game of Thropods

PEPS students take home the silver in entomology contest

Insect ecology, insect taxonomy, pest management, urban entomology, and toxicology just scratch the exoskeleton of topics that grad students might be called upon to answer during the Entomological Society of America’s ‘Entomology Games’ contest. At this year’s regional matchups, the CTAHR entomology grad student team came in second place in the Pacific Branch. Congrats (and good luck at nationals) to Mitchell Kirsch, Michelle Au, David Honsberger, and Karim Gharbi. These grad students in the lab of Mark Wright and the lab of Jia-Wei Tay, Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, will face off against students from other universities in the national ‘Entomology Games’ contest this November, during the ESA’s annual meeting in Denver.

“This series of entomology trivia contests will test our PEPS students’ knowledge of a broad spectrum of entomology facts – often very bizarre questions,” says Mark. “They’ll be challenged with a diverse array of entomology trivia, which can be obscure and difficult. But I know they’ll do CTAHR proud; they have great teachers.”J

Read more about the games.

Gut Check 4 May 2021

Gut Check

A new book from HNFAS seeks to improve the intestinal health of animals

Consumers across America are beginning to eat at restaurants again. But as they return to their favorite haunts, so has the question about whether the main course was raised on antibiotics. “With the increasing demand for meat from antibiotic-free grown animals and legal restrictions on it in certain jurisdictions, there is an urgent need to find alternative approaches to raise animals in the post-antibiotic era,” says Rajesh Jha of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences. “A proper nutritional strategy,” he adds, “is essential to handling intestinal challenges of these young animals. This can be achieved by a wise selection of feedstuffs and supplementing nutrients or compounds that possess functional roles in improving the intestinal health.”

Rajesh and co-editor Sung Woo Kim of North Carolina State U. have recently published “Nutritional Intervention for the Intestinal Health of Young Monogastric Animals.” The eBook is intended to provide updated, critical resources on nutritional manipulation and the use of functional compounds to cope with intestinal challenges that young animals suffer upon weaning or hatching, especially by monogastric animals like pigs and poultry.

“We hope the book will serve as a handy and useful reference for researchers and livestock industry, and will contribute to healthy and sustainable animal production,” Rajesh adds. Related reviews and research papers are also available on Rajesh’s lab website.

4H Cooking Contest 4 May 2021

4H Cooking Contest

5th-12th graders can create a video of a healthy recipe using local ingredients

The Hawaiʻi State 4-H, a program of CTAHR Extension, has brought back its popular cooking contest for keiki. Welcome to the Video Cooking Challenge! The goal is to create a 5-7 minute video that showcases a local commodity (plant or animal) and demonstrates the successful completion of a healthful recipe. You do not need to be a current 4-H member to enter the contest. Please register by May 12 or contact your county agent.

For questions, please contact Nancy Ooki.

Health Equity Language Workshop 4 May 2021

Health Equity Language Workshop

This Thursday at 5:30 pm, with one CEU for registered dietitian nutritionists

CTAHR’s Dietetics program has partnered with the Hawaiʻi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for a free online workshop on Health Equity Language. Guest speaker Dr. Jackie Ng-Osorio will discuss “achieving health equity” – reducing stigma and bias through our written and verbal communication so everyone can have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Because the words we use to talk about health, people, communities, and populations can help us in achieving health equity, this workshop will focus on teaching participants the strategies to address people inclusively and respectfully, while avoiding language that perpetuates negative stereotypes. 

“Please join us this Thursday! This is a great opportunity to learn and apply skills on how we can use our words and communication to promote health equity,” says Monica Esquivel of the Dept. of Human Nutrition Food and Animal Sciences.

Support is provided by an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Diversity and Inclusion Award. The event is around the corner, so Register now. For questions, contact Monica.


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