ML 141265


Interview 4:22 - 19:34 Play 4:22 - More
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James C. Bruch  







Hawaii; Maui birds  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
12 Dec 2001

  • United States
    Maui County
  • Makawao
  • 20.80722   -156.27958
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Split track

Interview with Jamie Brook
Studio 2D
For the 2001 Updates piece

4:33 My name is James Brook and my title is Avian Conservation Research Supervisor. We are up in Olinda, on the island of Maui.

JG/JB -back and forth about yes, this is the rarest bird in the world.

6:09 JB-the black robin has come back since they started mgt on the population

JG -so it is safe to say this is the most endangered bird in the world

6:23 -yeah -presently.

JG -why has it taken so long ..... the current status of the po'ouli

6:51 JB -the current status is there are 3 birds left in Hanavi that we know of. And a lot of our work in the early yrs was done identifying the individuals and mist-netting and color banding them and collecting feathers for DNA sexing. 7:15 after the results of the DNA came back we found out there were 2 females and one male po'ouli so since we have found that out we have been gearing up to translocate the female over to the male to try and form a wild breeding pair.

JG -why not do it in captivity?

7:39 JB-basically, it has been deemed to risky to take them out of the wild and put them in captivity as far as taking adult birds out of the wild and taking them into captivity when so little is know about them that we are going to try and keep them in their natural environment and form a breeding pair in the wild. 8:07

JG -why in January?

8:14 JB -January/February mark the onset of the breeding season for the po'ouli so we would like to introduce the female to the male on the onset of the breeding season so they can at least have contact and let nature take its course .....

JG -take us through the process of what you will do you have names for the birds?

9:01 JB -no, I try not to name them. I try not to become too attached. What our plan is we are going to first capture the male, and radio transmit it and get a better idea of its home range, and once that has been done, we are going to try and capture the female and bring her down into the home range of the male, and by radio tranmittering the male we will know where he is, and then we can release the female in the vicinity of the male.

JG -where will this take place?

9:43 JB -this will be in Hanavi Nat'l reserve on the eastern slope of Haleakula.

JG -how come you don't have a radio transmitter on the male already?

JB -When we captured the male we just wanted to find out if it was a single bird ...

JG -what do they look like

10:39 JB -they are very cryptic colored. They are black and brown and have a black mask and their name po'ouli translated in Hawaiian means black-faced honeycreeper .. .I have been on the project five yrs ago we have been monitoring these birds and their population and I am really pleased that we are actually doing something now to try and save them ... 11 :16 my hope is that we are able to collect eggs from a pair of po'ouli and rear them up in captivity ....the eggs -the plan is to collect eggs from a nest and hatch them in captivity and bring them up in captivity so we can have a captive population and then release them back into the wild. 11 :44

JG -tell us about adventure of finding the po'ouli .... and how will you translocate them?

11 :58 JB -what is going to happen is that the study site is very remote, and the only way to get there is by helicopter and we are going to drop off a team of individuals to try and mist-net the po'ouli, and once we capture the female we are actually going to hike her down in a small padded in bird cage....we are going to ...the female is situated at about 6200 hundred feet and where the home range of the male is situated at about 5200 feet so we are going to come down about 800 feet in elevation on these ridges in the rainforest and follow these primitive trails until we finally hike into the home range of the male which is in a valley located up in the rain forest.

JG -how is it possible that this male and female haven't had the desire to meet each other already?

13:04 JB -we think that their home ranges are so far removed from each other that -and monitoring the birds through re-sites that their territories and home-ranges are significantly small enough that they haven't met each other yet.

JG -how did you pick one female over the other to mate?

13:26 JB -mostly logistics. One is in a very wet region of the rainforest that is extremely muddy and extremely difficult to get in -even by helicopter bc of the weather.

JG -so that means when that po'ouli dies, it will be the end of her genes .....

13:47 JB -yeah. Basically. JG -and what if this doesn't work? ..

14:01 JB -we are going to monitor their behavior using a radio telemetry, so we will be able to follow them around and find out if the female flies out to the home range or if she does indeed stay in the home range of the male and they start courting each other.

14:36 JB -the case of the po'ouli is ... the po'ouli isn't the first bird that has been on the brink of extinction w/in the 1st 20 years 2 other maui birds have gone extinct, and a species on Kaui has gone extinct too -so it is kind of small snap shot of a bigger picture in Hawaii of what is going on related to extinctions and conservation.

JG -Area that they live ....

15:23 JB -it is extremely rugged rainforest located on the northeast slope of haleakula on Maui, and it is one of the wettest spots in the world -receives about 3-400 inches of rain a year.

15:49 they (the po'ouli) socialize with another endangered species which is the Maui parrot (sp) bill. They share a lot of the same calls and a lot of the sightings of po'ouli they are with Maui parrot bill. I actually have seen the HR 2 female feed a juvenile Maui parrot bill. .. HR-2 is the female -one of the other females -the one that we are not translocating at this point.

JG -has there been any inter-breeding?

16:21 JB -bwn the 2? There has been courtship activity has been observed btwn the 2 species. And as far as I know they just flock together. With the case of an adult po'ouli feeding ajuv parrot bill kind oflike to think ofthe po'ouli as an auntie or uncle po'ouli.

16:51 JG -you have only seen this with one of the females/ JB -yes, but with the male I have seen with juv parrot bills? Can you keep us posted ... when will you know ....

17:15 JB -by March I would say -by the breeding season we will have a better idea. And if fails with the HRI female we may try it with the HR2 female ..... 17:47 Ifit does't work with these 2 birds we will try it again with the other female....and present her to him 18:12.

JG -lucky guy, huh?

18:13 JB -yeah, we are kind of playing cupid with these birds. 19:13 we are kind of playing cupid with these birds.

JG -maybe Valentine's Day you will know something?

19:23 JB -yeah, we are going to be trying it around Valentine's Day.

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