Birds? Anyone who has ever heard – or dreamed of – the beautiful birdsong of Hawaii’s native forest birds while on a hike, will appreciate the work of the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC). Using conservation breeding and release techniques for over 20 years, KBCC has been saving critically endangered Hawaiian birds from extinction. Birds being cared for at KBCC are the ‘Alalā, Puaiohi, Palila, Kiwikiu, ‘Akeke’e, and ‘Akikiki. KBCC is part of the San Diego Zoo Global’s Hawai’i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.
With the KBCC Discovery Forest, we are providing service-learning opportunities for volunteers, as well as habitat and food for native birds. Since January 2015, 11.8 acres have been cleared and Caretaker/Outreach Coordinator Iwikau’ikaua (Iwi) Joaquin has engaged over 2,000 volunteers who outplanted 8,991 native seedlings, including Acacia koa, Māmane, Maile, ‘Ōhi’a, Pa’iniu, Ōhelo, Kawa’u, Kōlea, Ōlapa, ‘Ohāwai, ‘Uki’uki, Popolo ku mai, and Pilo.
Iwi inspires youth to connect with their environment by combining science with culture. He has ancestral connections to these lands and shares traditional stories about the history of the place and its people, in the process fostering a responsibility to family, community and homeland.
Iwi inspires youth to connect with their environment by combining science with culture.
Climate change is making this mission harder but even more worthwhile.
‘Til next time. Yours truly,