Officials Killing Sheep to Protect Palila Bird on Mauna Kea

Marksmen from helicopters are shooting sheep on Mauna Kea to protect the endangered palila Bird. The sheep eat mamane trees which is the source of seeds for the birds.

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2 Responses to Officials Killing Sheep to Protect Palila Bird on Mauna Kea

  1. Steve Martin says:

    I’m so very pleased that this is occurring! Sheep and pigs and other exotic mammals and snakes, and avian malaria (brought to the Islands by Caucasians via mosquitoes) have decimated so many of the endemic birds of Hawaii. My wife and I have been fortunate to have seen the Palila in the refuge on Mauna Kea. And in a few days I will make the 5,000-foot hike to the summit of Mauna Kea, as my 50th and final State HP. But I won’t see a Palila on this hike.

  2. Tom says:

    This is innaccurate. The Sheep do not eat the mamane trees and in fact have not been the reason the palila have declined at all. There is a mamane blush every year that support the mamane, meaning, provide seed for the Palila.

    The argument is that the sheep eat the young mamane shoots and thus will prevent mamane to germinate/grow in the future. This is a relevant argument, and is also one that can be accomodated without slaughtering sheep. The Palila have fluctuated between 1300 and 6000 birds for 30 years in cycles, without any impact from the sheep, so this argument is getting to be a tired, expensive, and irrelevent argument at the expense of sportsmen and sportsmen dollars that could be utilized to help manage the area for the Palila with everyone having a stake in the success of the Palila. Right now, the environmentalists have alienated the sportsman and soon their dollars will run out. The millions of allocated slush fund dollars are drying up and the whining of the environmentalist are likely to have little effect on sportsmen, who would willingly work with the environmentalist save for their exclusionist land use demands.


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