Ka lele ana on nā kūkuluae’o ma ka ‘āina kūlana kauhale : Hawaiian stilt movements through an urban landscape
Marty Kawasaki1,2, Eben H. Paxton1
1USGS- Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Volcano, HI. 2TCBES graduate program, Hilo, HI


IV. Putting Research into Practice for Thriving 'Åina


The unique geography of Hawaiian wetlands on older islands create isolated habitats that have been degraded by the increase of western anthropogenic effects, leading to an overall reduction in functional waterbird habitat. The critically endangered Ae'o or Hawaiian stilt, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni, navigates the heterogeneous landscape surrounding Hawaiian wetlands. Ae'o populations have been slowly recovering since the 1900s, when numbers were devastated by over hunting and mammalian predation. Previous observational studies on Ae'o have demonstrated them to be a highly mobile species making them difficult to track across urban environment. The use of GPS solar satellite tracking devices have offered a glimpse into the dynamic habitat uses of Ae'o. Four Ae'o, on O’ahu, were outfitted with satellite transmitters and followed for several months. Categories for landscape features were used to examine temporal occupancy by Ae'o given these habitat characteristics. Ae'o use a variety of atypical habitats. This should be considered when thinking about conservation strategies, and that the extensive use of non- wetland habitats provides opportunities and additional threats to the bird’s long-term persistence.