For years, KIUC has worked collaboratively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) and the Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) to address complex issues concerning the potential impact of utility structures and lights on Kauai’s protected and endangered seabirds. Over the years, we have implemented numerous measures to 1) reduce the potential impacts of our facilities on seabirds (such as shielding thousands of streetlights, shielding facility lighting, undergrounding and altering powerlines, etc.) and 2) to improve seabird survival and recovery (such as funding, expanding and improving the Save Our Shearwaters program, and funding habitat improvement projects).
We continue working with consultants, community groups, wildlife agencies, and government regulators on bird issues. This includes strong partnerships and funding for the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), the Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve Seabird Mitigation Project (HNP NARS), the Kauai Humane Society (KHS) and the Hawaii Wildlife Center (HWC). That work includes:
- Funding the implementation and ongoing operations of the Save Our Shearwaters program
- Funding seabird-colony management and predator control in upper Limahuli Valley and Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve
- Undergrounding power lines on Mount Kahili
- Updating population estimates at-sea for the three seabird species
- Funding auditory surveys to locate and quantify seabird breeding colonies
- Funding development and implementation of an under-line monitoring program aimed at better understanding the amount of seabird take caused by overhead utility structures
- Funding tracking studies of fledglings and adults released out of the Save our Shearwaters program
- Conducting cultural, biological, vegetation, and fencing studies to evaluate and prepare for the construction of predator proof fences at select colonies.
KIUC is currently seeking a long-term Habitat Conservation Plan with USFWS and DOFAW, along with a 30-year incidental take permit and license.