Campaign to save endangered Hawaiian duck
HONOLULU (AP) — Wildlife officials are starting a campaign to save the endangered Hawaiian duck, or koloa.
The chocolate brown koloa maoli is an endangered species largely because of cross-breeding with the common mallard duck, which was brought to Hawaii.
Scientists believe there are fewer than 3,000 true koloa remaining in the wild.
The duck has been in the Hawaiian Islands for at least 100,000 years. Cross-breeding with mallards began sometime in the late 1800s when the more common mallard was imported for ornamental ponds, hunting and farming.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended removing feral mallard ducks to help prevent the koloa from becoming extinct. It’s illegal to bring the mallards into Hawaii.
One of the researchers working with the koloa, graduate student Caitlin Wells of the University of California, Davis, is attempting to pinpoint the number of hybrid birds in the wild.
While the koloa’s genetic makeup serves as a good match for habitat in the Hawaiian islands, the mallard’s genes stress domestication.
“So the more they interbreed, the more we might get a mixed population where it’s only the domesticated genes that dominate, and we’ve lost all of the native genes from the native ducks,” Wells said.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the University of Hawaii want to raise awareness about koloa.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.