Working directly with Haleakalā National Park Staff, we provide funding for projects within our three Areas of Giving: Conservation, Preservation, and Education.
Our Funded Projects:
tracking critically endangered forest birds
This project would actively support our endemic and critically endangered Maui Parrotbill, the Kiwikiu. Estimates for the total population of the Kiwikiu range from under 300 individuals to less than 150, the rarest native songbird on Maui.
The Kiwikiu only live on the Eastern slopes of Haleakalā, and with climate change, their habitat is being encroached by mosquitos whose range is expanding into high elevation forests, bringing with them avian malaria, to which our endemic birds are particularly vulnerable.
One of the primary challenges with attempting to protect rare species is having current and detailed information about where they are and tracking those changes over time. As the birds become rarer, they often become more difficult to locate.
This project would fund frontline research to determine the population of our Kiwikiu.
The park’s forest bird biologist, Chris Warren, has designed a project to utilize autonomous recording units, also known as “song meters”, to provide a more accurate count of the population by listening to bird song, the data collected, over a period of months, not days, as with the point count survey method. This data will give a much higher degree of confidence of how many Kiwikiu we truly have in the wild, where they are, and be able to more effectively design management actions to save them, and track the results of those actions.
This project is to purchase 10 of these song meters for the park along with associated supplies. We are in a race to save this species, and while the Kiwikiu are at the precipice, there are other species of native forest birds that will greatly benefit from this work.
"Park records indicate that gosling survival in the wild at Haleakalā is low due to a combination of low nutrition and harsh weather. Nēnē are placed into the pen and provided water and food. Goslings thus benefit from the regular supply of food and water, and are protected from harsh weather, predators, and human hazards, such as cars and road traffic. After reaching fledging age, the entire family is released back to the wild, becoming part of the wild population."
- Cathleen Bailey, Wildlife Biologist- Haleakalā National Park
Avian Malaria Video
This video will be a documentary-style, focusing on a personal story to draw attention to rare birds on the island of Maui that are at risk due to avian malaria. This 5-7 minute video will be designed to grab the attention of people online and will have the main communication goal of sharing that the birds are important and worth saving. Prior videos created by the park have gone on to numerous film festivals, and these generate opportunities for awareness, support, and engagement on a large scale.
"Hawai'i's forest birds are unique and many species like the Kiwikiu are so rare that they only have a few hundred left in the wild. However, many of Haleakalā's forest birds are facing extinction due to avian malaria transmitted by mosquitoes. By sharing the stories of Haleakalā's forest birds we not only give them a voice but a visual at what is at stake if swift action is not taken to save them."
-Jin Prugsawan, Chief of Interpretation, Education & Volunteers, Public Information Officer- Haleakalā National Park
Check out this Haleakalā National Park Video to learn more about Climate Change’s effects on environment and wildlife:
E OLA KOa Internships
E Ola Koa is a yearlong professional development internship program targeting recent local graduates from colleges and universities. The training gained during the 12- month internship will provide local youth with an important advantage on careers in conservation in Hawaii, in the National Park Service, or in any other conservation or land management agency nationwide.
The positions will include:
-Wildlife Management protecting critically endangered forest birds, Hawaiian petrel, and Nēnē
-Vegetation Management monitoring Haleakalā Silversword and other rare plant species
-Interpretation and Visitor Education providing educational programming to local schools and park visitors
The product of this project would be critical conservation and educational work provided to Haleakalā National Park by young conservationists, working side by side with skilled NPS professionals.
“This unique internship program inspires youth to protect special places like Haleakalā National Park (HALE) for future generations. Witnessing youth get excited about their home and its natural and cultural resources, learning how to protect it then seeing them return to HALE is the best part of my job!”
- Bennadette "Honeygirl" Duman, Interpretation and Education Specialist- Haleakalā National Park
Nu'u Visitor Plan
Lower Nu'u was the site of Native Hawaiian pre- and post-Contact communities and settlements until the mid-1800s. The area contains a wealth of historical and archeological sites near Pi'ilani Highway. The objectives of the Visitor Plan would be to evaluate the opportunity for a self-guided walking tour while protecting sensitive cultural resources. Community members could visit sites important to local families, while visitors could learn more of Hawaiian culture and the history of the Nu’u area. There are few passive interpretive opportunities in this part of Maui.
The planning process would involve the local community, kupuna (elders) and Native Hawaiian organizations, as well as the general public. The plan would evaluate what the ideal outcome would be for a passive visitor site, which would be determined through extensive public consultation, compliance with all applicable laws, and analysis of environmental effects.
"...it would be exciting for travelers through Kaupō and Nu’u to be able to learn about and experience this landscape firsthand. The local Hawaiian community could advise and direct the interpretation of the landscape, bringing this evidence from the past to life and informed by cultural knowledge passed down through generations."
-Rachel Hodara Nelson, Archeologist/Cultural Resources Program Manager- Haleakalā National Park