Human-introduced rats, cats, mongoose, barn owls, dogs, goats, and deer prey upon seabirds or damage their nesting habitat. Since seabirds evolved millions of years ago with no mammalian land predators, they are easy prey and have experienced significant population decline in the Main Hawaiian Islands from predation. You can help this problem by keeping your cats indoors and your dogs on leashes.
Seabirds are nocturnal and fly in and out of their breeding colonies at night. They typically navigate using the moon and stars, but artificial lights confuse and disorient them. These confused seabirds often collide into walls, power lines, or “fall out” of the sky and land on the ground. Birds on the ground are at high risk of predation or being hit by cars. If you find a seabird on the ground, please refer to our Found A Bird page. Be part of the solution by turning outside lights off when they are not needed and using shielded lighting in your home or business.
For more information about fallout and grounded seabirds, please refer to Save Our Seabirds. You can help with this problem by turning outside lights off when they are not needed and shielding them or pointing them down rather than out.
Habitat LossHawaiian Petrels and Newell’s Shearwaters nest either on the mountainous slopes or in areas with native plant species such as uluhe fern and ‘ohia lehua. Unfortunately, native forest species are being destroyed by non-native ungulates and out-competed by invasive plants such as strawberry guava, further reducing the area suitable for nesting seabirds. The breeding habitat of coastal nesting species such as Wedge-tailed Shearwaters is also rapidly declining due to human development along the coastline.
The construction and operation of new developments in Maui Nui have the potential to result in the incidental take of federally and state-listed threatened and endangered species, including the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater. Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project works with the State of Hawaii, local wind energy facilities, solar power companies, and other developers to recover wildlife take. Developers work with state and federal agencies to develop and implement Habitat Conservation Plans for endangered seabirds in Maui Nui.