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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Their “Youngsters” Will Return to the Wild

Feminine and male mother and father, Sihek (Guam kingfishers) on the Nationwide Aviary (photographs by Mike Faix)

10 July 2024

Endemic to Guam, the place their indigenous title is “Sihek,” the Guam kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus) has been extinct within the wild for nearly 40 years. Although they nest in bushes they have been no match for the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) which was by chance launched from its native vary into Guam in 1946. Because of the Sihek Restoration Program the offspring of this pair on the Nationwide Aviary will probably be among the many first to return to the wild.

Since their close to extinction within the Eighties the Guam kingfisher has existed solely in captivity with fewer than 200 people on Earth in 2017. The captive breeding program is rising their inhabitants.

Guam kingfisher chick on his journey to Palmyra Atoll (photograph by Jessica LaHurd by way of the Nationwide Aviary)

Yesterday two Guam kingfisher chicks hatched on the Nationwide Aviary started their journey again to the wild.

When the children are prepared for launch they received’t be returning to Guam. Sadly the brown tree snake is such a profitable predator that it overran the island in solely 30 years and prompted the extinction of 12 native chook species.

Brown tree snake in Guam (photograph from Wikimedia Commons)

On Guam these snakes are so pervasive and so good at hiding that there’s a actual chance they might hitchhike on outbound gear and invade different islands. USDA has skilled sniffer canines to verify every thing for snakes earlier than it leaves Guam together with cargo and the airplane touchdown gear!

USDA sniffer canine on his approach to detect brown tree snakes on outbound aircraft (photograph from Wikimedia Commons)
USDA Sniffer canine checking outbound touchdown gear and cargo for brown tree snakes in Guam (photographs from Wikimedia Commons)

Guam remains to be infested with snakes so the place will the younger birds go?

After they’re able to stay within the wild they are going to be launched at Palmyra Atoll Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, one thousand miles south of Hawaii and equidistant from New Zealand and the continental US. The refuge is usually water with solely 4.6 sq. miles of land. Analysis scientists spend brief stints onsite however nobody lives there completely. Guam and Palmyra Atoll are marked on the map under.

screenshot of Google map finding Guam and Palmyra Atoll
Aerial view of Palmyra Atoll (photograph from Wikimedia Commons)

The birds will probably be actually wild.

Observe their journey on the Nationwide Aviary’s Fb web page. Learn in regards to the Nationwide Aviary’s Guam kingfisher restoration program right here:

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