Commend Wildlife Refuge on Innovative Species Protection

Target: Shannon Stutzer-Smith, Project Leader of Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Goal: Commend organization on plans to protect native species through creation of pest-proof fence

The Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex (KNWRC) has recently announced that it will begin implementation of the Nihoku (Crater Hill) Ecosystem Restoration Project. This project primarily involves the construction of a fence along the Crater Hill section of Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

This fence will be pest-proof, ensuring native species are shielded against threats. Threats include introduced predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses, rats, and mice. Once completed, the fence will be able to prevent mice as young as two days old from entering the area.

The fence will also protect native birds like the Moli (Laysan Albatross) and the Nene Goose (Hawaiian Goose). These birds nest on the ground, a trait which has made them vulnerable to a variety of predators, and has made it difficult for them to maintain their populations. In addition to preventing predators from disturbing these birds, the fence will prevent them from eating native plant species’ seeds. While it should keep pests out, if any predatory animal were to slip in, it would become trapped, and could easily be caught and released without causing significant harm to the native plants and animals.

Furthermore, the fenced site will eventually be used to translocate A’o (Newell’s Shearwaters), providing them a safe place from which to depart before their maiden flights to the ocean. Normally, these birds take off from mountain burrows, but increased buildings and lights have caused disorientation, and many have failed to find their way out to sea. The fenced area borders the ocean, making it safer for the birds to complete their flights.

The fence will be constructed from stainless steel mesh and will be two meters in height, 728 meters in length, and enclose nearly eight acres of land. It will feature a skirt and rolled hood to prevent animals from entering the area and will be the first of its kind used on a national wildlife refuge within the United States.

By signing the petition below, you will commend the KNWRC and its project partners for increasing the protection of native species through the implementation of the Nihoku (Crater Hill) Ecosystem Restoration Project.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Shannon Stutzer-Smith,

The Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex’s implementation of the Nihoku (Crater Hill) Ecosystem Restoration Project will serve an important role in protecting native bird and plant species.

The pest-proof fence will make it safer for ground-nesting birds to maintain their current populations. The fence will also create a safe location for the A’o to conduct their maiden flights without the danger of being disoriented from street and building lights.

By implementing this project, the KNWRC shows its commitment to the restoration and preservation of native species and environments, as well as its innovative approaches towards accomplishing its goals. We commend the organization on its preservation and restoration efforts.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Benjaminkeen via Wikimedia Commons

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Signatures

  • Sylvie Rochat
  • jeff hopkins
  • Andrea Giolli
  • Yvonne Fast
  • mark bastian
  • Lisette de Waard
  • Andrea Sreiber
  • Helene Beck
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