The critically endangered ‘akē‘akē (the Hawaiian name for the band-rumped storm petrel) is one of the species that could benefit from rat-free habitat on Lehua Island, Hawai‘i. Photo Credit: AGAMI Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo

AnimalsEnvironment Hawaii24. May 2023

Seabird, Seabird, Fly Home: Rebuilding a Lost Seabird Paradise

Now that a small Hawaiian island is free from invasive rats, scientists are rebuilding a lost seabird paradise.

By using wooden seabird decoys and broadcasting bird calls, passing seabirds will think the island is a busy breeding colony and may stop by. “The beauty of these projects is they build knowledge. Each project is a stepping stone to the next,” says Patty Baiao, a seabird expert with Island Conservation.

Lehua Island is likely to become a crucial refuge for seabirds, explains Sheri Mann, who is overseeing the restoration project. Mann and her colleagues are also restoring Lehua’s native vegetation which is critical for nesting seabirds. Should the project work, the return of seabirds to this little island would have a trickle-down effect that would contribute to an overall healthier surrounding ocean environment.

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