Hawaiian Petrels: Refugees of the Sea

Hawaiian petrels aren’t the largest seabirds in the ocean. They’re no albatross. But with a three-foot wingspan, they can still cover some ground–er, water. According to the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, an adult bird will fly over 6,000 miles in a  single foraging trip to provide a meal for its chick. I’d say that’s impressive. I mean, I know my mom loves me and she’s trekked to the local grocer before to buy ingredients to make a favorite dish of mine, but she’s never flown to, say, France and back to provide me dinner.

Hawaiian petrels may look remarkably similar to other petrels and, even, shearwaters, but they are endemic to Hawaii. That is, found here and nowhere else in the world. Whereas, once, they were one of the most common seabirds found in Hawaii, they are now endangered. It’s highly likely that the only reason they’re still around is that they were once so populous, from seaside to mountaintop. Unfortunately, they’re now only found in the far reaches of a few of Hawaii’s islands mountains, and that population is estimated to have been decimated by 75 percent in the past 20 years.

But here’s the thing, a whole group of people, including a non-profit, NGO, national wildlife refuge, and local and state agencies have come together to help save the species. I like that kind of collaboration.

I was honored to write about the project for Hakai Magazine a couple weeks ago, and I’d be honored if you gave it read. You can find my story on Hawaiian Petrels here.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. suegranzella says:

    Great article in Hakai, Kim! You continue to amaze me with your (seemingly) effortless ability to write about species and environment in such an engaging, energetic, accessible way. Once again, I learned as I enjoyed. Great work!

    Like

    1. Kim says:

      Thanks, Sue. I learn so much myself researching and writing these stories!

      Like

  2. Bob B Wright says:

    Hi Kim, Your marvelous writing shows a great deal of your caring for the subject , a special writing talent ,indeed.

    Like

    1. Kim says:

      Thanks, Bob. Always great to hear from you!

      Like

  3. Marcia Harter says:

    Loved it Kim. See you Sunday. Would you like to ride with us? Marcia >

    Like

    1. Kim says:

      Thanks for the offer, Marcia, but we have an errand to run en route. I look forward to seeing you again!

      Like

  4. JoAnne says:

    As always, such a fun, interesting article, Kim. I loved learning about the efforts to save the petrels. And great photo!

    Like

    1. Kim says:

      And it’s always great to hear from you, JoAnne! Thanks for reading.

      Like

  5. Mary says:

    Great article. Thanks for directing us to it.

    Like

    1. Kim says:

      My pleasure. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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