The kiwikiu bird, also known as the Maui Parrotbill, was thought to have gone extinct since 2019, ever since the last unfortunate few met their death through an epidemic caused by mosquitoes. They had been located at the Maui’s Natural Area Reserve in October 2019 but almost all of them had perished at the hand of the avian malarial disease.
Recently, a researcher from the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources reported to have heard an unfamiliar bird song at the volcano-based reserve. He suspected the song was that of a kiwikiu bird but wasn’t sure as it came from a certain distance. He went closer to inspect the furry being which was feeding among some kolea trees on berries. He confirmed that the bird was a lost one from 2019 which had miraculously somehow been able to survive.
A scientist working for the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project confirmed that the particular bird suffered from the disease but fought it and survived. Dr. Hanna Moucne of the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project said, “This is an amazing sign of hope for the species as we still may have time to save them…This is a hopeful sign that a population of kiwikiu and other native forest birds could survive in restored landscapes in the future, especially without mosquitoes and disease.”
This was a new ray of hope for all the species of the birds and she hoped that the clean environment of the landscape could be beneficial for other similar thriving forest species.
Source: nypost.com (Article by Hannah Frishberg 27th July 2021)
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