Palila abundance estimates and trends

Technical Report HCSU-053
By: , and 



The palila (Loxioides bailleui) population was surveyed annually during 1998−2014 on Mauna Kea Volcano to determine abundance, population trend, and spatial distribution. In the latest surveys, the 2013 population was estimated at 1,492−2,132 birds (point estimate: 1,799) and the 2014 population was estimated at 1,697−2,508 (point estimate: 2,070). Similar numbers of palila were detected during the first and subsequent counts within each year during 2012−2014, and there was no difference in their detection probability due to count sequence. This suggests that greater precision in population estimates can be achieved if future surveys include repeat visits. No palila were detected outside the core survey area in 2013 or 2014, suggesting that most if not all palila inhabit the western slope during the survey period. Since 2003, the size of the area containing all annual palila detections do not indicate a significant change among years, suggesting that the range of the species has remained stable; although this area represents only about 5% of its historical extent. During 1998−2003, palila numbers fluctuated moderately (coefficient of variation [CV] = 0.21). After peaking in 2003, population estimates declined steadily through 2011; since 2010, estimates have fluctuated moderately above the 2011 minimum (CV = 0.18). The average rate of decline during 1998−2014 was 167 birds per year with very strong statistical support for an overall declining trend in abundance. Over the 16-year monitoring period, the estimated rate of change equated to a 68% decline in the population.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Palila abundance estimates and trends
Series title Technical Report
Series number HCSU-053
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher University of Hawaii at Hilo
Publisher location Hilo, HI
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 18 p.
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Mauna Kea
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details