Rescued Newell’s Shearwater Chick Heads To Sea – Miracle Bird Highlights Extraordinary Recovery Effort

At the Nihoku predator-proof enclosure at the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, it was designated Newell’s Shearwater (‘A‘o) Chick #8.  On Sunday evening this healthy chick left its manmade burrow and headed out to sea; one of eight young birds that had been translocated to Nihoku as part of an extraordinary effort to save Hawai‘i’s endemic seabirds from extinction.

newells-shearwater-chick“This particular chick holds a special place in our hearts because it was rescued from one of the upper montane colonies after being found lost, alone, and hungry on a trial in the Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve in August,” explained Dr. Andre Raine of the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP). “If the chick had been left by itself in the colony it would have surely died, so it’s great to see it now flying safely out to sea as a strong and healthy fledgling.”

It was the first time KESRP team members have encountered a live chick out in the open. Typically the only reason why they are found outside of their burrows is because they have been attacked and eaten by predators, including rats and feral cats.

Initially, #8 was flown by KESRP to the Save our Shearwaters (SOS) program at the Kaua‘i Humane Society, where Tracy Anderson, SOS program coordinator and her staff gave it fluids and food. Ultimately it was translocated to the Nihoku enclosure, where over the course of the past month it continued getting daily feedings and health checks. “I’m glad that we could give him a second chance and that he might be one of the founders of this new colony of Newell’s Shearwaters”.

Robby Kohley of Pacific Rim Conservation (PRC) is one of the team members responsible for the daily care of this chick.  He said, “It’s one of those lucky things that the colony monitoring team people found this little chick.  It acclimated to its burrow well and its weight and wing cord (wing length) steadily increased, so it’s a nice team effort. There are so many birds that don’t make it; the fact that they were able to rescue this bird is pretty exciting. It is a bit of a miracle and a bright spot.

Adding to the bright spots is the fledging of 4 other Newell’s Shearwaters translocated to the Nihoku enclosure from burrows deep in Kaua‘i’s mountain forests in September. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its Hawai‘i partners conducted the first ever translocation of endangered Newell’s Shearwaters in an effort to establish a protected breeding colony at the national wildlife refuge.

Dr. Lindsay Young, project coordinator with PRC explained, “Team members removed seven, large, healthy chicks from their mountain burrows by hand.  Once they arrived at Nihoku their growth was carefully monitored and they were hand fed daily, a slurry of fish and squid.  Once they were big enough, their caretakers opened their burrows to allow them to depart when the time came.”

Newell’s Shearwater chicks imprint on their birth colony location, once they emerge from their burrows, and as adults will return to breed at the same colony. Since the chicks were removed from their natural burrows before the critical imprinting stage, it’s hoped they’ll imprint on the artificial burrows and return to the predator-proof colony as adults in three to five years.

Hannah Nevins, director of ABC’s Seabird Program said, “The new colony will be the only fully protected colony of this species anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands. It’s an enormous step toward recovering this rare seabird and we hope it marks a turning point in the downward trend for this species.  The future of the Newell’s Shearwater on Kaua‘i is dependent on multiple actions, from colony protection in the mountains to creating new predator-free colonies with fences, and continuing to mitigate light and collision impacts.”

Dr. Young concluded, “We are very excited to have accomplished a major recovery objective for one of Hawaii’s endemic seabird species.  What we learn from this project will be crucial in implementing what we hope will be many more projects like this on Kaua‘i and across the state.”

The recovery team has a year’s worth of experience under its belt, having translocated endangered Hawaiian Petrels to the nearly eight acre Nihoku enclosure a year ago.  Those birds fledged successfully last year and next week a new group of Hawaiian Petrels will be removed from their mountain burrows and flown to the enclosure.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Connects Hawaii Soldiers With Employers at Transition Summit

This afternoon at Schofield Barracks, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard spoke to a group of more than 200 Hawaiʻi soldiers who are considering a transition from military service to civilian life.

tulsi-schofieldShe explained that our soldiers have the skills, leadership, and experience that would benefit any agency, organization, or business in the private sector. The congresswoman also highlighted some of the obstacles veterans face as highly trained applicants ready to join the civilian workforce when there are misconceptions about their preparedness once the uniform is laid down.

“This kind of transition summit sends a strong message to our service members—when you’re ready to lay down the uniform, you’re not going to get kicked to the curb and left on your own,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. “Changing misconceptions that a veteran may not be fit to serve in the workforce is necessary—and it comes down to each of us affecting change in our own spheres of influence. Tell your story and encourage your fellow soldiers to do the same to help those who have never served understand the value that our veterans bring to the table. The need for this understanding is real.”

tulsi-schofield1In Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked to create incentives for businesses to hire veterans, to fight against attempts to roll back the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and to increase opportunities for veterans to participate in apprenticeship programs and more.

On the 12th anniversary of the Iraq War, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard launched the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who have served in the military after 9/11, and who are dedicated to issues related to the newest generation of veterans. The caucus’ legislative agenda focuses on the 2.8 million veterans who have served and deployed since 9/11 and provides a forum for this new generation of veterans to voice their concerns and ideas.

tulsi-schofield2Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced the bipartisan Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act—a bill that works to make that transition smoother by enabling veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to learn critical workplace skills or apprenticeship programs in the skilled-trade industry. Currently, GI Bill benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of Department of Labor approved pre-apprenticeship programs that teach the skills and techniques necessary to prepare individuals for training and careers in the skilled-trade industry.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Companies for HI-5 Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Notices of Violation and Order against six companies for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law.

hi-5The companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2016 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • Arakaki Store, Inc.
  • Hawaiian Fresh Farm dba Culture Brew
  • La Hiki Ola
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • World of Aahs!
  • World Pac, Inc.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawai‘i laws. The companies received multiple written notices informing them of reporting requirements prior to the issuance of a penalty.

Big Island Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker Having Australian Art Show

Renowned local Big Island Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his award winning Kona based company Tiki Shark Art Inc have confirmed their travel dates to Melbourne Australia for a highly anticipated Art Show.

brad-and-tiki

The show appropriately named Kona Kustom Kulture will be featuring the artist’s latest original pieces of art and the company’s latest Hawaiian souvenir line.  The event will take place on November 4th at Kustom Lane Gallery – a well know and highly respected art gallery in Melbourne.

brad-surfer“I have a quite a large following and fan base in Australia. Folks there have been inviting me to fly out for years but other projects have kept me very busy” quoted Brad, “looks like my agent Abbas Hassan somehow squeezed in this short 4 day trip this year, so it is now or never” he added.

kustom-lane-gallery“Its going to be a great privilege for Brad’s fans and collectors to meeting their favorite Hawaiian Tiki Artist in person in their homeland” quoted Janet Peake – Director of Kustom Lane Gallery. “We are really looking forward to hosing a Hawaiian celebrity in our town” she added.

brad-magicianBrad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his artworks were recently featured in Hawaiian Airlines Hana Hou Magazine. His company Tiki Shark Art Inc was name the 10th Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Hawaii by Pacific Business News.

For more information about this event go to www.kustomlane.com or www.tikishark.com