Bird of Fire

Let me introduce you to the most interesting bird in the world, the ʻĀkohekohe (Palmeria dolei). This critically endangered bird is only found on the island of Maui in Hawaii. There are about 3,800 individuals in two separate populations on Maui. It has distinctive calls from the "whee-o, whee-o" to the "tjook, tjook, chouroup" and even a rarely heard "hur-hur-hur-gluk-gluk-gluk".

The bird, sadly, is on the decline. Deforestation of the ʻĀkohekohe's natural habitat is one factor. Another is due to the bird's unique colors, it is very desirable to collectors and poachers. Competition from nonnative species that have been introduced to the ecosystem has also hurt the ʻĀkohekohe. Finally, in the 1900s mosquitoes were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands and the diseases they carry have been deadly to these magnificent birds.

Conservation efforts are under way and the species is under the protection of the Federal Endangered Species Act.

-Via The Featured Creature

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