Climate Change Affecting Food Supply of Hawaiʻi Birds

Nov 13, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Climate change is affecting the food supply of Hawaiʻi's native and non-native bird species.

That’s according to a recent study from the U.S. Forest Service reviewed data collected between 1976 and 1982 on a 40 acre site outside of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

Researchers collected data several times a week on plants, weather, and birds.

Scientists with the Forest Service reviewed the data set not only to get a historical benchmark of the area – but to also have a better understanding of how climate affects the life cycles of birds.

Jared Wolfe is a Wildlife Ecologist with the USFS.

He says they found the breeding of two native bird species heavily depends on the flowering of ʻōhiʻa.

Wolfe says this is important because the area wasn’t affected by human development or rapid ʻōhiʻa death, and gives a baseline of how climate patterns can affect native and non-native bird species.

He adds the study may impact future conservation efforts and the Forest Service is hoping to conduct another in-depth study in the same area.