A Wandering Blog

The blazing orange ‘Ākepa from the Big Island

Posted by Joanna Maney on

The blazing orange ‘Ākepa from the Big Island

The ‘Ākepa marks the first in a series of up close and personal portrait illustrations of Hawaiian forest birds I've been illustrating. The Hawai‘i ‘ākepa is a small, endemic(found only here) Hawaiian honeycreeper. ‘Ākepa also used to be found on Maui and O‘ahu but both are likely extinct. The only remaining population is listed as Endangered and found only on the Big Island with the highest density of population along the Pua ‘Ākala tract of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, an area with large, older trees. Most of the current range of the Hawai‘i ‘ākepa is managed by State and Federal agencies or private...

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Mangroves in Hawai‘i

Posted by Joanna Maney on

Mangroves in Hawai‘i

Red mangroves were first brought to Hawai’i from the Philippines in the early 1900s. Today the park service fights a hard battle to pull them out. Mangrove roots smother out native Hawaiian plants and fill coastal environments with anoxic (lacking oxygen) sediment that destroys wetlands crucial to native species of plants and birds. The first time I saw a seed, I was swimming and it startled me. They float vertically and nose to nose in the waves I thought it was an eel or something. Ha! This is the first sprouted one I’ve ever found. You can see those determined...

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Hawaii Wildlife Conservation Stamp 2022

Posted by Joanna Maney on

Hawaii Wildlife Conservation Stamp 2022

The Wildlife Conservation Stamp gives Hawai‘i residents the opportunity to celebrate native Hawaiian birds while raising funds for conservation not only through hunting licenses, but also as community members interested in conservation, and stamp collecting enthusiasts nationwide. This year marks the first year the state of Hawai‘i is offering two separate conservation stamps. The Wildlife Conservation Stamp is required on state hunting licenses and the Game Bird Stamp is required to hunt game birds specifically. Both stamps raise funds for programs that protect the native ecosystems where native birds like the ‘i‘iwi live. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to have my artwork featured...

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What’s going on with Hawai‘i’s birds? Volunteers | Part 4/4

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What’s going on with Hawai‘i’s birds? Volunteers | Part 4/4

The level of volunteerism in Hawai‘i is inspirational. I love that I get to share about the habitat restoration and volunteer groups here in Hawai‘i because they are amazing. There are different groups across the islands that get together, usually organizing on social media, to remove invasive plants and replace them with native ones. There are lots of reasons why maintaining a forest’s natural state is important, this isn’t all about the birds, but it certainly helps the birds. And there are organizations that work directly with native birds that offer volunteer opportunities. Pacific Rim Conservation offers volunteer opportunities to help...

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What’s going on with Hawai‘i’s birds? Fencing | Part 3/4

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What’s going on with Hawai‘i’s birds?    Fencing | Part 3/4

Some other good things going on here across the islands that are helping native birds are the habitat restoration programs and predator-proof fencing projects. These fences help keep native bird habitat free from invasive predators—the ones introduced by humans—like the house cat and the mongoose. These fencing projects protect both forest habitat and sea bird nesting sites. Sea birds are vulnerable because most species nest on the ground. They are so vulnerable in fact, that one loose house cat can destroy an entire colony of birds in one night. Sadly, this has happened repeatedly at the loss of entire families,...

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