Nakula Natural Area Reserve (NAR) was created in 2011 to protect and restore the natural resources that had been heavily impacted by non-native ungulates. Nakula NAR was subsequently chosen as the first release site in an effort to reintroduce Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill, Pseudonestor xanthophrys); a critically endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper. As part of the Kiwikiu translocation in fall 2019, released Kiwikiu will be fitted with radio transmitters to track their movements.
However, every location has its inherent challenges and radio telemetry has never been done in Nakula or with this species. In order to streamline the process for the Kiwikiu release and to gain insight into bird movements within Nakula, we monitored another honeycreeper; Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens wilsoni). We chose to monitor ‘Amakihi because they are a common native honeycreeper found in Nakula and are most similar to Kiwikiu of the species remaining in Nakula. Here we give an overview of the findings from tracking ‘Amakihi and any adjustments needed for tracking Kiwikiu in Nakula in the future.
We also analyzed ‘Amakihi movements and home ranges. The most recent study of ‘Amakihi movement was conducted over 30 years ago on Hawaiʻi Island in the māmane-naio forests of Mauna Kea (van Riper III, 1987). Nakula is on the leeward, southern slope of Haleakalā, Maui and is a mixed ‘ōhiʻa-koa mesic forest. We hypothesized that home range sizes in Nakula may differ from previously published estimates, likely reflecting variation in resource availability. Investigating ‘Amakihi movements in Nakula may also shed light on the distribution of important habitat attributes in the fragmented forest.
Deployed 9 transmitters; Tracked 8 birds, 1 malfunction
Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi statistics: 8 males, 1 female, known ages between 1 and 7+ years old (1 HY, 2 SY, 6 ASY). Two tagged birds had known banded mates, both in nest building stage.
|Bird||Number of resights||Home range area (Ha) (KDE)||Home range area (Ha) (MCP)||Furthest points in home range (m)|
Table 1. Sizes of home ranges for each bird as well as the average of all 'Amakihi tracked.
Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi home ranges:
What we found for future Kiwikiu release:
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Pratt, TK, JC Simon, BP Farm, KE Berlin, and JR Kowalsky. 2001. Home range and territoriality of two Hawaiian honeycreepers, the ʻĀkohekohe and Maui Parrotbill. The Condor 103:746-755.
van Riper III, C. 1987. Breeding ecology of the Hawaii Common Amakihi. The Condor, 89(1): 85–102.
Warren, CC, PJ Motyka, HL Mounce. 2015. Home range sizes of two Hawaiian honeycreepers: implications for proposed translocation efforts. Journal of Field Ornithology 86(4):305-316