North America


Hemignathus wilsoni


Habitat modification
Mortality through predation and diseases

The Akiapolaau is a native Hawaiian honeycreeper that only dwells in high elevation forests within the woodpecker niche and is an exclusive insectivore. Its name is pronounced as ah-kee-ah-POH-LAH-OW.

Unlike other honeycreepers, it has a bigger head and a shorter tail which gives it a pudgy appearance. While its lower bill is stout and defined, its upper bill is long and thin. It breeds a single egg every other year.

Conversion of its natural habitat for logging and grazing seriously affects the ability to grow in number. And as more alien plants replace trees (which serve as protective shelter and source of insects for sustenance), it makes this bird species vulnerable to fatal mosquito-borne diseases. The Akiapolaʻau is also at risk of being eaten – both young and adult individuals – by rats, cats, dogs, and other feral predators within the surrounding areas.