COURTESY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing delistsing the Hawaiian hawk, or io, from its list of endangered species.
Hawaiian hawk reaches stable perch
Public comment is sought on delisting it as an endangered bird
The Hawaiian hawk no longer requires federal protection as an endangered species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment on the delisting of the Hawaiian hawk from the list of endangered species.
Comments can be submitted on www.regulations.gov. They can also be mailed or delivered to:
» Public Comments Processing
Attn: RIN 1018-AU96; Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222
Arlington, VA 22203
» A copy of the proposal can be downloaded at www.fws.gov/pacificislands. » For more information, call the Honolulu office at 792-9400.
Due to recovery and conservation efforts, the species has had a stable population for at least 20 years, according to a service release.
"The Hawaiian hawk, or io, has shown great resiliency in the face of a changing landscape, resulting in this proposed delisting," said Patrick Leonard, field supervisor for the service's Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.
The service is asking for public comment on the proposed delisting through Oct. 6, especially from those "pertaining to biological, commercial trade or other relevant data concerning any threats to this species."
It also seeks information concerning the range, distribution and population size of the species, the service said. Researchers estimate the total population to be about 3,000 birds.
Once delisted, the hawks will be monitored for at least five years, as required by the Endangered Species Act.
The hawks will remain protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law that prohibits taking, killing or selling or otherwise harming migratory birds, their nests or eggs.
The hawk was originally listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1967, which was a precursor to the current law.
A Hawaiian hawk recovery plan was finalized in 1984, and aimed to maintain a stable population level by minimizing factors like habitat loss and illegal hunting.
In 1993 the service considered reducing the species' classification to threatened, but the public expressed concern about the proposal because it relied on old data.
The Hawaiian hawk is a small, broad-winged species of hawk endemic to the islands. The hawk is only known to breed on the Big Island, but the species has been seen on Kauai, Oahu and Maui.