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Schatz secures funds for threatened species

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz recently announced that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will receive $1.7 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect native forest birds, waterbirds, seabirds and yellow-faced bees.

The funding will support conservation projects on Kaua‘i, Maui, Hawai‘i Island, and O‘ahu.

“Our native bird and bee populations are in danger due to shrinking habitats, disease-carrying mosquitoes and expanding predator populations,” said Schatz. “This new federal funding will directly combat these dangers, helping to protect and save forest birds, waterbirds, seabirds and yellow-faced bees and their habitats throughout Hawai‘i.”

The federal funding comes through the Competitive State Wildlife Grant Program, designed to conserve species in approved State Wildlife Action Plans.

The programs protect imperiled species and their habitat from further harm, and in some cases prevent them from going on the endangered-species list.

The total funding includes nearly $500,000 to combat the threat of avian malaria and protect Hawaiian forest birds on Kaua‘i and Maui.

The new money follows $14 million in federal funding the state received last month to combat avian malaria, a deadly disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and protect native birds, including the ‘akikiki and ‘akeke‘e on Kaua‘i and the kiwikiu and ‘akohekohe on Maui.
Source: The Garden Island

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