Hawaiian Wetland Birds Threatened

News reached us today that an outbreak of Avian botulism has reared its devastating head in Kanaha Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Maui. The Forestry and Wildlife division, an arm of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, warned the State today. Asking all residents to be on the look out for symptoms of the disease in native Hawaiian wetland birds.

Opportunities for Birding in Kauai Hawaii

Hawaiian Moorhens in Newly Planted Taro Field


Since this naturally occurring disease was identified last year, we at our Poipu rentals have been observing our two pairs of endangered Gallinule at our Kauai rentals that reside along the Waikomo Stream. The malady is a naturally occurring toxin in wetlands that builds up in invertebrates which is primary food source for wetland fowl. Signs of infection include weakness, lethargy, and an inability to hold their heads above water and to fly. Resulting in drowning.
Avian botulism in Hawaii spreads to Maui

Avian Botulism Spreads to Native and Migratory Birds in Hawaii


Our almost daily observations of the four Hawaiian moorhens in the backyard of Turtle Cove Suites has not revealed any such symptoms. I can only speculate if it is due to the constantly flowing Waikomo stream that does not enable botulism levels to accumulate in the birds food source.

About Joe Sylvester

Aloha! I have lived on Kauai for 33 years where I have worked as an Agronomist for 17 years, owned an art gallery for 11 years and own a vacation rental for 17 years in the town of Poipu. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and have been married since 1985.
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