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Hakalau Forest National Refuge - With Jack Jeffrey

If we lose the birds, we lose the plants; if we lose the plants, we lose the birds.

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1985 to protect endangered birds and their rainforest habitat. Only about 25% of old-growth forests remain on the Big Island of Hawaii, and people like Jack Jeffrey have been working to protect and restore them. 60-70% of the plants in Hawaii are bird-dependent, either for pollination or seed dispersal. Jack says, "If we lose the birds, we lose the plants; if we lose the plants, we lose the birds." Ecosystem is important! Now, after 25 years of restoration, Hakalau Forest has been transformed. All of the bird populations at Hakalau Forest — including this I'iwi — are stable or increasing. Thank you, Jack, and others like you!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote® 
Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Featuring Jack Jeffrey
Written by John Kessler

This is BirdNote.

[Sounds from Hakalau, continuing throughout]

Today, we’re in a rainforest on Hawaii’s Big Island. Wildlife biologist Jack Jeffrey is identifying the birds he’s hearing …

’Oma’o…’I’iwi…’Apapane…

This is Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, created in 1985 to protect endangered birds and their rainforest habitat. Only about 25% of old-growth forests remain on the Big Island, and people like Jack have been working to protect and restore them.

In Hawaii we’ve lost so much. Half of the forest birds are extinct. Half that remain are endangered. 60-70% of the plants in Hawaii are bird-dependent, either for pollination or seed dispersal…And that’s a real important thing. If we lose the birds, we lose the plants; if we lose the plants, we lose the birds. So it’s important then to maintain the ecosystem so that we keep those plants around.

After 25 years of restoration, Hakalau Forest has been transformed.

 Just looking at the forest here, twenty years ago it was just short grass, some big trees, and cattle roaming around, pigs roaming around. Now you look at it and the understory is more than head-high, lots of different plants growing; the cattle of course and the pigs have been removed, and we’re finding that the bird populations at Hakalau Forest are stable or increasing for every bird species that’s here.  

You can learn more at BirdNote.org.

###

Interview conducted by John Kessler, November 25, 2012
Hakalau ambient recorded by J. Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org    February 2013/2018   Narrator: Mary McCann

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