about a month agoAn endangered seabird was caught on camera emerging from a vent in a volcano, officials said Tuesday. According to the National Park Service, this is the first confirmed ‘ake’ke, also known as the band-rumped storm petrel, found in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Band-rumped storm petrel nests are notoriously difficult to find, according to the researchers, because the birds don’t leave behind a lot of evidence. Researchers said the nest was originally discovered by a dog named Slater, who is part of the airborne detector dogs.
“Biologists at the park have been aware of the presence of ʻakēʻakē on Mauna Loa since the 1990s. In 2019, ʻakēʻakē burrow calls were recorded during acoustic monitoring that indicated nesting. Their lack of visual cues makes them extremely difficult for humans to detect,” biologist Charlotte Forbes Perry of the University of Hawaii said in a news release.
But once Slater was brought in, he was able to locate the ‘kakeke’ nest and three other nests in two days,’ Perry said.
Officials said that, for the most part, the nocturnal bird spends its life at sea but nests on isolated islands. There are approximately 150,000 ‘kake’ globally with 240 pairs in Hawaii.
Slater and his trainer, Dr. Michelle Reynolds, also found a ‘kakeke’ nest in September at the US Army Garrison Pohakuloa training area. The two nests are the only documented ‘kakeke burrows’ in Hawaii.
Officials said the recent volcanic eruption poses no threat to the discovered birds’ nests, and that dark-sky-friendly lighting is being used to help residents control their pets and guide birds back home. encourage to do. Bright lights, he said, disorient the birds.