First albatross of the season at Kaena Point

December 6th, 2012
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The new fence at Kaena Point appears to be helping seabird populations. Laysan Albatross and chick at Kaena, one of the few places they nest in the Hawaiian Islands. Photo by Lindsay Young.

The new fence at Kaena Point appears to be helping seabird populations. Kaena Point is one of the few places where the Laysan albatrosses nest. Photo of Laysan albatross and chick by Lindsay Young.

It appears as if a predator proof fence installed around Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve is helping the ‘ua‘u kani, or wedge-tailed shearwater seabirds that hatch there, according to a press release issued Nov. 30 by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resorces.

The first albatross of the season arrived at Kaena Point on Thanksgiving weekend.

The population of U“au Kani, wedgetailed shearwaters, has gone up since a fence went up around Kaena Point. Photo by Deborah Ward, DLNR.

The population of ‘ua‘u kani (translation: moaning petrel), or wedgetailed shearwaters, has gone up since a fence went up around Kaena Point. Photo by Deborah Ward, DLNR.

Since the fence was installed, Lindsay Young, a biologist with Pacific Rim Conservation, said the hatching ‘ua‘u kani population has more than doubled to 3,274 birds this year compared to a previous high of 1,556 birds in 2007.

Populations of the Moli, or Laysan Albatross, which also nests at Kaena Point, have also increased by 15 percent to about 400 birds.

Seabird life were wiped out at Kaena Point by predators and off-road vehicles on the sand dunes where the birds next. In the early 1990s, vehicles were blocked. Since then, seabirds are slowly returning and attempting to nest.

Kaena Point, which was once thriving with seabird life, is one of only a handful of places in the main Hawaiian islands where the albatrosses nest. If you decide to hike at Kaena Point, remember to stay on pathways to help prevent the trampling of seabirds. Also, no dogs are allowed.

One Response to “First albatross of the season at Kaena Point”

  1. The Green Leaf Top green events of the year:

    [...] counts up. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reports that bird counts of the Laysan and shearwaters are up at Kaena Point. It appears that the fence is [...]


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