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‘Aimakapā Fishpond Project is for the birds……

November 30, 2012
An endangered ae‘o or Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) inspects a marker flag at a newly-cleared portion of ‘Aimakapā Fishpond at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. These graceful birds forage for a variety of small fish and invertebrates in fresh, brackish, and salt-water habitats, preferring shallow-water sites with limited and low-growing vegetation and exposed tidal mudflats. This project aims to improve habitat for endangered waterbirds by removing alien invasive vegetation, a move this tuxedo-clad wader seems to approve. Photo: M. Truan

An endangered ae‘o or Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) inspects a marker flag at a newly-cleared portion of ‘Aimakapā Fishpond at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. These graceful birds forage for a variety of small fish and invertebrates in fresh, brackish, and salt-water habitats, preferring shallow-water sites with limited and low-growing vegetation and exposed tidal mudflats. This project aims to improve habitat for endangered waterbirds by removing alien invasive vegetation, a move this tuxedo-clad wader seems to approve. Photo: M. Truan

     Under a pilot project designed to test effective management techniques for the development of the ‘Aimakapā Wetlands Vegetation and Waterbird Management Plan and Environmental Assessment, the National Park Service and scientists from the University of California Davis are clearing alien invasive plants from a portion of ‘Aimakapā  Fishpond and monitoring subsequent water quality and habitat use by waterbirds. Endangered Hawaiian Stilts and Hawaiian Coots (Fulica alai) were once numerous at ‘Aimakapā Fishpond, as were a variety of wintering waterfowl and migratory shorebirds. In recent years, however, alien invasive plants have invaded the Fishpond, obscuring mudflats, crowding out native vegetation, and creating cover for nonnative predators.  As a result, bird populations have plummeted. 

 

 

 

For more information about the ‘Aimakapā Fishpond Management Plan go to: http://www.nps.gov/kaho/parkmgmt/index.htm

Thomas Garcia (right) and Tim Punihaole-Notgrass test methods of clearing alien invasive vegetation from a portion of ‘Aimakapā Fishpond at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. Photo: M. Truan.

Thomas Garcia (right) and Tim Punihaole-Notgrass test methods of clearing alien invasive vegetation from a portion of ‘Aimakapā Fishpond at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. Photo: M. Truan.

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