Planned Sites in Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i, the Big Island
An island of superlatives, Hawai‘i is the largest, most diverse, and newest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago. The Big Island features five active volcanoes including Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is also an island of extremes from snow-covered mountains to hot, sunny beaches; from dry, barren lava fields to lush tropical rainforests.
Keauhou Bird Conservation Center
The Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC) is located near Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The KBCC is one of two bird conservation centers under the umbrella of the Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program, a partnership among the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and the State of Hawai’i Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
The KBCC aids in the recovery of Hawaiian ecosystems by preventing the extinction and promoting the recovery of Hawai’i’s most threatened native birds, including the ‘ Alalā, or Hawaiian crow. Approximately two-thirds of the world’s entire population of ‘ Alalā reside at KBCC; some are destined for eventual reintroduction to their native habitat.
Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge
The Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (HFNWR) was established in 1985 to promote the recovery of endangered forest birds and their habitat. The refuge supports a number of endangered native species such as ‘ Io, or Hawaiian hawk, and the ‘ akiapola‘au, a honeycreeper. The HFNWR management works to improve the health of the forest by eliminating grazing by domestic cattle and by fencing thousands of acres to keep out destructive wild cattle and feral pigs. Highly invasive, non-native plants–including gorse, blackberry, and English holly–are controlled by a variety of methods such as removal, prescribed burns, and herbicides. To rehabilitate degraded forest habitat, seeds of native plant species are collected on site, germinated and propagated at the refuge greenhouse, and then transplanted in the wild. Since 1989, more than 400,000 native seedlings have been planted in the refuge including common but important rainforest species such as koa and ‘ ōhi‘ a as well as the endangered haha and ‘ ōhā wai.
(Course locations are subject to change.)
Photo credit ‘Alalā: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global