The 'Akikiki, also known as the Kaua'i Creeper, is a type of Hawaiian honeycreeper. It's most often seen foraging along tree trunks and branches in pairs or family groups. But more often than not, the bird is not seen at all as it slips ever closer to extinction. With fewer than 500 individuals remaining, this is one of the world's most endangered birds.
Tragically, although it is listed under the Endangered Species Act, this and many other native Hawaiian birds receive only a small percentage of the federal and state funds dedicated to endangered species recovery.
Even Hawaiians know little about this and other native birds, so few voices are raised to advocate for increased resources and conservation. However, ABC's Hawai'i Program has made the conservation of the 'Akikiki and other forest birds one of its top priorities.
Mosquito-borne diseases such as avian malaria and avian pox have decimated 'Akikiki populations. The problem may worsen, as climate change could continue to raise the elevation where mosquitoes can live, further shrinking this bird's habitat.
As in other parts of Hawai'i, invasive species are a major problem. Introduced plants crowd out native species on which wildlife depends. Non-native animals such as cats and rats prey on the birds, while pigs, goats, and sheep destroy habitat.
Some groups have given up on Hawai'i because the situation is so dire. But “quit” is not in our vocabulary.
The birds of Hawai'i continues to be a major focus for ABC. Our Hawai'i Program, working with many partners, will keep pushing for increased federal funding and other actions to ensure a future for the 'Akikiki, 'I'iwi, Maui Parrotbill, Newell's Shearwater, Palila, and many more.
We welcome all and every effort to help us "bring back the birds." If you would like to make a donation, please click here. Or visit our Get Involved page to learn more about how you can help. Together, we can make a difference for this special bird.