Saving our Forest Birds

Beauty on the Brink

For millions of years, songbirds native to the island of Maui have called Haleakalā home. They represent a colorful thread that runs through the evolutionary history of the Hawaiian Islands; the diversity among these birds, known as Hawaiian honeycreepers, shows the challenges they have faced and their success in unique ecosystems. But the last hundred years have brought about changes at an increasing rate. The rare forest birds of Maui are in a race for survival—and they can't do it alone.


Fast Facts

  1. Honeycreepers are a unique group of forest birds found only in Hawai’i, which once had more than 50 species. Today, only 17 species remain, some with fewer than 500 individuals left. 

  1. Without swift action, several species of honeycreepers will become extinct in the next ten years.

  1. Avian malaria, a disease transmitted by invasive Culex mosquitoes, is driving the extinction of our forest birds. A single bite by an infected mosquito can kill an ʻiʻiwi. 

  1. As the climate warms, mosquitoes carrying avian malaria are moving upslope into the last refugia for Hawaiʻi’s forest birds.

  1. A technique called “mosquito birth control” can suppress mosquito populations and help save our native forest birds.


Familiarize Yourself with Forest Birds

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    Last updated: April 24, 2024

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    Haleakalā National Park
    PO Box 369

    Makawao, HI 96768


    808 572-4400

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