Breeding productivity and survival of the endangered Hawai'i Creeper in a wet forest refuge on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i

Studies in Avian Biology


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We studied the demography of the endangered Hawai‘i Creeper (Oreomystis muna) from 1994-1999 at three sites in Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Hawai‘i Creepers bred from January to June, with peak breeding in February through May (about 120-l 80 days), and molted from May to August. A small proportion (4.9%) of individuals overlapped breeding and molting activities. We located and monitored the fates of 60 nests. Mean clutch size was 2.1 eggs, nest building required 19 days, incubation was 16 to 17 days, and nestling period lasted 18 days. Of all nest attempts, 25% were abandoned before egg laying, 6.7% were removed for captive propagation, 13.3% had undetermined fates, 38.3% failed during incubation or nestling periods, and 16.7% were successful. Thus, of 33 nests that were active through egg laying and outcome was confirmed, only 30% were successful. The daily survival rate of active nests was 0.960 t 0.009 SE. An average of 1.7 chicks fledged from successful nests. Thirty-two percent of hatch-year birds were alive and in the study area at least one year later. Annual adult survival was high (0.88 t 0.03). The primary factors limiting productivity of Hawai‘i Creeper in Hakalau Forest NWR appear to be low reproductive potential in combination with high rates of nesting failure. Further research into the causes of nest failure, the length of the breeding season, and renesting behavior of females is needed, and protection of the forest from the degrading impacts of introduced mammals is paramount.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Breeding productivity and survival of the endangered Hawai'i Creeper in a wet forest refuge on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i
Series title Studies in Avian Biology
Volume 22
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Cooper Ornithological Society
Publisher location Los Angeles, CA
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 164
Last page 172
Country United States
State Hawai'i
County Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge