POSTED: Monday, October 06, 2008

Zoo releasing birds on Kauai

The San Diego zoo will release 23 endangered forest birds into the Alakai Wilderness Preserve on Kauai over the next two weeks.

This is the 11th time that endangered puaiohi have been released into the wild from the zoo's breeding program.

To help the species recover, eggs were taken from the preserve to the San Diego Zoo's bird conservation center in 1996. Since then, 176 puaiohi have been released back into the wild.

Zoo conservation program manager Alan Lieberman said the bird has been the most reliable breeder for the past 13 years, producing almost 300 chicks since the beginning of the program.

“;It is rare that a conservation program is able to deliver such continuous releases of birds into the wild,”; Lieberman said. “;We still have birds in the program that were hatched during our first year of propagation.”;

Because the puaiohi is a federally listed endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides funding and scientific collaboration to the state to support recovery effort. The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife is responsible for the Alakai Wilderness Preserve.


Hanauma Bay seeks tour guides

Volunteers are needed as interpretive guides at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

The University of Hawaii Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program is holding training sessions this month for those interested in helping to educate visitors on marine resources and “;proper reef etiquette.”;

The training, held at Hanauma Bay, includes the bay's geological history, status of marine resources and steps being taken to protect them.

No experience is necessary. Volunteers usually commit to one four-hour shift per week for at least six months. Prospective volunteers are asked to submit an application, complete an interview and follow a current volunteer for one shift.

For more information, call 394-1374, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or see www.HanaumaBayEducation.org.


Library gets funds for repairs

The state has released more than $305,000 toward replacing the roof of Pahala Public Library and bringing its entry walkway into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Construction at the Big Island library is scheduled to begin in March, and the project should be done in September, the Governor's Office said in a news release. The library is on the campus of Kau High and Pahala Elementary schools.