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Hawaii Forest Bird Interagency Database Project: Collecting, Understanding, and Sharing Population Data on Hawaiian Forest Birds

April 11, 2006

The forest birds of the Hawaiian Islands are distinguished by
the diversity of endemic forms derived from a small number of
ancestral colonists. However, the avifauna has been decimated
by human activities both before and after Western contact. At
least 71 species or subspecies disappeared before the arrival of
Capt. James Cook in 1778, and an additional 24 went extinct
after 1778, of which 11 were lost since the 1960s alone. Many
of the remaining Hawaiian bird populations are declining or are
in danger of extinction. Vigorous efforts to survey and monitor
bird populations over the past 3 decades have generated considerable
information from which to assess the current status of the
Hawaiian forest birds.