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Native Forest Birds in Hawaii in Unprecedented Trouble

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posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 11:26 AM
Although we might naturally assume, as this is on ATS, that this unprecedented trouble might be due to climate change or Fukushima or some other manmade attrocity ... but you'd only be slightly correct.

Native birds at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge are in unprecedented trouble, according to a paper recently published in the journal PLoS ONE. The paper, titled "Changes in timing, duration, and symmetry of molt of Hawaiian forest birds," was authored by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Zoology Professor Leonard Freed and Cell and Molecular Biology Professor Rebecca Cann.

It is taking many Hawaiian birds much longer than normal to molt (lose and replace their feathers). Scientists have found this is due to significant loss of available food. It seems that the food supply is down to about 60% of normal ... based on previous experiments where they starved birds for comparison... (all in the name of science right?)

The scientists have placed the blame for this on man's intentional introduction of the Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) bird, in 1929, to control the insect population.

Science Daily: Native Forest Birds in Hawaii in Unprecedented Trouble

Usually birds molt the same primary flight feathers on the two wings at the same time to maintain maneuverability. However, by 2002, all species had asymmetric molt of these feathers. This is the first time asymmetric molt has been documented throughout a community of birds. This molt was experimentally seen previously in food-limited birds. In laboratory situations, starvation of birds to 60% of normal diet leads to the changes in molt that Freed and Cann observed in nature.

so it's not all doom n gloom but in the end "man" messed with Mother Nature and now there's a price to pay.

This is the Hawaiian Creeper, already on the endangered species list. It's seeing some of the most severe molting issues.

posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 12:15 PM
Never had a thread with zero comments before!

guess it's just more of the same... man changes nature, man hurts nature, animals die off.

posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 12:46 PM
This isn't the first time that Hawaiian birds are in trouble because of human encroachment. You can't take a secularized ecology like Hawaii and not immediately feel effects if you change things.

There have been so many disasters from introducing species, you think humans would get it by now.

posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 01:45 PM
well, what can we do to correct this? Introduce food artificially? That is an encroachment as well. I am serious about this, is there a solution?

I am a hard core birder and would love to see these species rebound, but how?

posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 03:38 PM
When I was in Kaanapali two years ago I got blood poisoning through a zit on my neck, spent 10 days in hospital touch and go, and came out with MRSA. While my wife was "stuck" at the resort while I was in hospital, she got to know the locals very well. Also, I watched a LOT of tv. We learned that the reefs and fish are dying. The water at some beaches are very polluted. MRSA, ("Methicillan Resistant Stapholocaucus Areus" basically an extremely nasty Penacillan resistant bacteria) is rampant on the beaches. You are literally taking your life in your hands if you go to the beach with an open cut anywhere on your body. A lot of the locals "We dont go to the beach, we stay at the pool, because of all the MRSA". A young guy had to have his foot amputated just before we got there because of it and an old man in Waikiki had to have his big toe removed.

The University of Hawaii was running water pollution tests at Kaanapali beach. You could see the kits floating in the water in a line off the beach.

One of the most beautiful bays (like the world famouse Hanama Bay on Oahu) called Honolua Bay

... is mostly a dead reef with very few fish unless you swim way out. No color, no life, very few fish.

On the news they were talking about the severe problem of fish poaching - people stealing the pretty tropical fish

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