Plans to repopulate Hawaii’s forests with its “very intelligent” crows have been upended in part by its natural predator, the Hawaiian hawk. Now scientists are tracking the hawk in order to save the corvids.
These San Diego Zoo researchers are trekking around the mountainous jungles of Hawaii’s Big Island not just to understand the ‘io, one of the state’s only birds of prey, which is considered at risk. It’s crucial, too, for restoring an even more endangered bird species — the ‘alalā, or Hawaiian crow.
Known for its problem-solving abilities, the Hawaiian crow is one of the most remarkable bird species in the world. The ‘alalā, whose name means to “yell” in the local language, is one of the only birds in the world known to naturally use — and even make — its own tools.
Yet this distinctive crow that many dub “very intelligent” has been extinct in the wild for two decades, with the only about 120 alive in human care today.
So far, plans to repopulate Hawaii’s forests with its native crows have been upended in part by the ‘io. The hawks are the crows’ natural predator, and have come after the corvids during prior reintroduction efforts...more
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