kiwikiu, the mau'i parrotbill
Member Since May 16, 1999
434 Images, Last upload Jul 15, 2015
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As far as anyone can determine, the Mau'i Parrotbill had not historically had a common name in the Hawaiian language. The name Hawaiian kiwikiu was developed by the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee, who was contacted by the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project to select an appropriate name. A naming ceremony was held in the bird's habitat in September 2010. The "kiwi" part of the name means bent or curved (e.g., sickle-shaped), which refers to the shape of the bill of this bird. "Kiu" has a double meaning, referring both to the bird's secretive ways and to a cold, chilly wind, such as the breezes in the bird's habitat.
The Kiwikui is critically endangered with less than 500 individuals remaining on the north-eastern slopes of Haleakala in Mau'i. From 1945 to 1995, the invasion of feral pigs on Haleakala caused chronic habitat degradation and facilitated the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes into remote rainforests. Most of the species’ range is now fenced however, and the species may respond positively as a result. However, the interaction between malaria and climate change is a potential future threat; modeling has suggested a possible population decline of c.75% by 2090.
Model Credits: Tropical Cove (Nerd), Ohia lehua branch and Kiwikiu from Songbird ReMix Hawaii (Ken Gilliland)
- April 28, 2012
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