150

Akikiki

North America

150

Oreomystis bairdi

Endangered

Mosquito-borne diseases
Forest clear-cutting
Mortality through predators
Limited food resources
Climate change

The Akikiki, also known as the Kauaʻi Creeper, is an endemic passerine bird species to the Kauaʻi Island in Hawai’i. Its main nesting grounds can be found in the highest part of the rainforests within the island.

Population decline of this bird species is attributed to several factors including avian malaria, avian pox, and other mosquito-borne diseases. On the other hand, as more lowland forests are being subjected to clearing operations to supply the logging industries or to be turned into agricultural lands, it limits the natural habitat where the Akikiki can live safely.

Forest clear-cutting efforts made this Hawaiian honeycreeper species vulnerable to hunters and predators such as pigs, cats, and rats. The limited area where it lives is also being destroyed by these feral animals or being invaded by non-native plants. This leads to limited food resources which the Akikiki has to compete with other birds and insects.

The already degraded native forests have had its share of hurricanes in the past which further reduce the suitability of the surrounding ecosystem at higher elevations in which the Akikiki can survive. Because of climate change, it is forced to make the lowlands its nesting ground which further increases exposure to mosquitoes.