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POSTED: Friday, October 09, 2009

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Dogs kill 15 protected shearwaters

WAILUKU » Hawaii wildlife officials are warning pet owners again after unleashed dogs apparently killed 15 protected seabirds in Kihei.

State wildlife biologist Fern Duvall says officials found 15 dead wedge-tailed shearwaters Sept. 30 that had been nesting in burrows bear Kamaole Beach Park III. She said a 16th bird was so badly injured that it had to be euthanized.

The dead seabirds also left behind a number of chicks that will have to survive on their own. Officials say they do not have the resources to care for them.

Two dogs were impounded after the kill. Their owner, who was not the one who took them to the beach, was cited for leash law violations and nonhuman attacks.

The shearwaters, or uau kani, are a protected species in the Pacific which were important to traditional Hawaiian fishing practices.