Kure Atoll seabird monitoring program started in 2000. One of the primary focuses for state management aims to understand what influences nesting success and survival rates through monitoring increased nesting and chick survival.
Seabirds are a large indicator species
because they have a deep reliance
on healthy oceans coupled with native-dominant nesting
habitats for successful, mostly-synchronous nesting seasons.
This can make monitoring Hawaiʻi seabirds akin
to having your finger on
the pulse of the Pacific.
Seabirds monitored for management
From a polluted and overfished marine home to vastly depleting nesting habitats, environmental and human impacts plague every portion of a seabird’s life. With the monitoring program in place, the State is able to assess the different survival factors that play into seabird nesting success.
Habitat Restoration Program
Some ground-nesting birds need open areas to run and take-off. Historically, the central plains were once dense with head-high invasive plant Verbesina. This caused narrow pathways and locked in heat resulting in the low nesting count and chick survival.
Native Plant Restoration Project
It wasnʻt until rats were eradicated in the 90s was there a substantial recovery to seabird nesting on Kure, some seabirds taking a lot longer to recover than others. Today, seabirds continue to expend more energy towards navigating the dense, aggressive nature of invasive plants than necessary.
Dune Restoration & Creation Project
The entirety of NWHI is being inundated with a changing landscape due to rising seas and climate change. On Kure, the Dune Stabilization and Restoration project under the Habitat Restoration program values the important protection and stability given by dunes on a low-lying atoll.
Natural Resource Protection & Monitoring
Every seabird eats plastic and brings it back to their nest and feeds it to their chick. In the end, if the parents do not have enough to eat, they do not have enough to share, and therefore, chicks do not have enough fat reserves to fledge successfully.
Marine Pollution Monitoring & Removal
Long-line fleets’ industrial-level over-harvesting fishing practices continue to negatively impact multiple marine species through by-catch alone. Kure field camps conduct regular monitoring of the rapid accumulation of marine pollution that washes ashore to remove entanglement hazards.