Posted by: aboutbirds | October 3, 2009

The Imperiled Birds of Hawaii

Everybody knows of Hawaii. They know its lush, tropical forests with the exotic flora and fauna, but what people don’t know is that Hawaii has the most imperiled species of all the states. 330 species of plants and animals are in peril in Hawaii. That is a huge number for such a small state out in the middle of the Pacific. It’s also extremely bad because much of the plants and animals of Hawaii are very specialized, once we lose them – they are gone, forever. A recent article published in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses a few of the endangered species in Hawaii and what you can do to help them. Visit the article to see more. I’m going to take it one step further and show many of the endangered endemic bird species of Hawaii.

It’s extremely saddening to see that some beautiful creatures are dying out and that we, as humans, are causing it. Hawaii is losing its flora and fauna due to invasive species and habitat loss. These animals have no where to go when their environment is gone. They live on an island, they can’t go anywhere.

Hawaii’s Most Imperiled Species

– Newell’s Shearwater, Puffinus auricularis newelli

    • Hawaiian Name: ‘A’o
    • IUCN Status: Threatened
    • Why this bird is threatened: Animals, such as the mongoose, cats, and rats, that were introduced to the island ate this bird because it is a ground-nesting seabird. Habitat loss and chick migration confusion due to lights are causing this bird’s populations to degrade even more.

– Hawaiian Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis

    • Hawaiian Name: ‘Alae ‘ula
    • IUCN Status: Endangered
    • Why this bird is threatened: Loss of habitat, invasive species, pollution, hunting and disease are decimating this bird’s populations. This bird’s total population was down to 57 in the 1960s, however through good conservation, the population is up to about 500.


11 of Hawaii’s Critically Endangered Birds


1. Laysan Duck, Anas laysanensis

10.03 - laysan-duck

2. Nihoa Finch, Telespiza ultima

10.03 - nihoa-finch

3. ʻŌʻū, Psittirostra psittacea

10.03 - o'u

4. Palila, Loxioides bailleui

10.03 - palila

5. Maui Parrotbill, Pseudonestor xanthophrys

10.03 - maui-parrotbill

6. Nukupu’u, Hemignathus lucidus

10.03 - nukupu'u

7. ‘Akikiki, Oreomystis bairdi

10.03 - akikiki


8. O’ahu ‘Alauahio, Paroreomyza maculata

10.03 - o'ahu-'alauahio

9. ‘Akeke’e, Loxops caeruleirostris

10.03 - 'akeke'e

10. ‘Akohekohe, Palmeria dolei

10.03 - 'akohekohe

11. Po’ouli, Melamprosops phaeosoma

10.03 - po`o-uli



Birds are so beautiful, why are we letting them die?

‘Till next time – enjoy!



  1. If you love life, you can’t help but feel the loss of Hawaii’s endemic birds. Nothing that can be introduced can replace them.

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