Excerpt Via: Hawaiian Bird Conservation Action Plan 2012
‘I’iwi profile - 1 October 2012
Geographic region: Hawaiian Islands
Group: Forest Birds
Federal Status: Conservation Concern
State status: Endangered on Oahu and
Conservation score, rank: 18/20, At-risk
Watch List 2007 Score: RED
Climate Change Vulnerability: High
Focal Species: ‘I’iwi (Vestiaria coccinea)
Introduction: The ‘I’iwi, with its long curved bill and brilliant scarlet plumage, is an iconic
species and is perhaps the most recognized Hawaiian bird. It is a widespread species that occurs
on several islands, but it is very susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases and is largely restricted
to high elevation native forests. Few conservation actions have been specifically directed at the
‘I’iwi, but it has benefited from habitat management aimed at several endangered honeycreepers.
The ‘I’iwi has declined recently, especially at lower elevations, and was petitioned for listing
under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2010. Protection and management of native forests
above the current range of mosquitoes is the most important tool in ‘I’iwi conservation.
Population Size and Trend: The current ‘I’iwi population is estimated to be 362,000 birds,
with by far the largest number occurring on Hawaii (Table 1). Long-term monitoring indicates
that most populations are declining, but numbers at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge
(NWR) and the windward side of east Maui are stable or increasing (Camp et al. 2009, 2010). 2
The Kaua’i population is declining rapidly (Camp et al. 2009, Gorresen et al. 2009). Very few
‘I’iwi remain on Oahu and Molokai, where they are observed only rarely.
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