COURTESY HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
A father nene, tallest, and mother led three nearly fully grown goslings on the first fairway of the Volcano Golf and Country Club on the Big Island on Thursday.
Successful nene breeding season brings 36 goslings
HILO » Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has had its most successful nene breeding season in many years, producing more than twice the usual number of surviving goslings, park officials have announced.
There were 36 survivors this year to compared with an average of 15 in prior years, the park said.
"Weather had a lot to do with it," said park biologist Kathleen Misajon. In the critical months of October and November there was enough rain to keep vegetation green, but not so much that baby birds got wet and died, she said.
The park also posted 14 "Nene Crossing" signs donated by James Brogan of Signs Hawaii in Honolulu.
The park credited some of those signs, near Devastation Trail, with helping three goslings survive, the first there in 10 years.
At Ainahou in the park, two fenced areas protected goslings. One of 420 acres protecting 10 nene families kept out wild pigs and another of 13 acres protected four families from wild cats and mongooses.
The increased number of goslings this year included 12 produced by seven adult pairs raised in captivity at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center near the park.