The ʻAkohekohe

(Crested Honeycreeper)

The ʻAkohekohe

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Life as a ʻAkohekohe

I live in the rain forests, not any rain forests though. I live in rain forests that are over 4,200 ft. in altitude. If I am not hard enough to find already, I can only be found on the island of Maui.


As of 1980 there are only 3,800 of us left. We used to flourish within Maui county. Over the years there became less and less of us. This is partially due to the Humans "developing," but mosquitoes spread a disease that can be fatal to us.


I spend about 70% of the day foraging. I also am really aggressive when it comes to defending feeding and nesting territories. Our females have about 1-2 eggs. This also makes re-population harder.


I eat mainly ‘ōhi‘a flower nectar but will take nectar from other native plants, and will eat insects and fruits. I was listed as an endangered species on March 11, 1967, under the Federal Endangered Species Act.


For conservation efforts there is nothing I can really do for my species. On the other hand for myself I can stay away from "Humans" and mate like crazy, to repopulate.

Adaptive Radiation

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Phylogenetic Tree of Hawaiian Honeycreeper

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The ʻAkohekohe evolved from one honey creeper species known as the rose finch that must have been blown to Hawaii from a storm. Over time that one bird evolved into the large amount of honey creepers. The ʻAkohekohe is only one of these many birds.


The reason for this is unique to the Hawaiian Islands is because each island that forms represents a blank slate for evolution, so as one honey creeper species moves from one island to a new island, those birds encounter new habitat and ecological niches that may force them to adapt and branch off into distinct species.

Citations

"Crested Honeycreeper - Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office." Crested Honeycreeper - Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.


"Species." Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei). Web. 12 Feb. 2016.


"Scientists Determine Family Tree for Most-Endangered Bird Family in the World." CCEG News: Scientists Determine Family Tree for Most-Endangered Bird Family in the World. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.