2015-2016 Palila abundance estimates

Technical Report HCSU-TR076
By: , and 

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Abstract

The palila (Loxioides bailleui) population was surveyed annually during 1998−2016 on Mauna Kea Volcano to determine abundance, population trend, and spatial distribution. In the latest surveys, the 2015 population was estimated at 852−1,406 birds (point estimate: 1,116) and the 2016 population was estimated at 1,494−2,385 (point estimate: 1,934). Similar numbers of palila were detected during the first and subsequent counts within each year during 2012−2016; the proportion of the total annual detections in each count ranged from 46% to 56%; and there was no difference in the detection probability due to count sequence. Furthermore, conducting repeat counts improved the abundance estimates by reducing the width of the confidence intervals between 9% and 32% annually. This suggests that multiple counts do not affect bird or observer behavior and can be continued in the future to improve the precision of abundance estimates. Five palila were detected on supplemental survey stations in the Ka‘ohe restoration area, outside the core survey area but still within Palila Critical Habitat (one in 2015 and four in 2016), suggesting that palila are present in habitat that is recovering from cattle grazing on the southwest slope. The average rate of decline during 1998−2016 was 150 birds per year. Over the 18-year monitoring period, the estimated rate of change equated to a 58% decline in the population.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title 2015-2016 Palila abundance estimates
Series title Technical Report
Series number HCSU-TR076
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher University of Hawai'i at Hilo
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 15 p.