HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

58

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

Requesting the department of land and natural resources to submit a petition to list the Oahu pueo as a threatened or endangered species under the endangered species act.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the Hawaiian short-eared owl, Asio flammeus sandwichensis, commonly known as the pueo, is an endemic subspecies of the short-eared owl; and

 

WHEREAS, the pueo is believed to have become established in the Hawaiian Islands after the arrival of the first Polynesians and is now endemic to all major islands of Hawaii except Niihau; and

 

WHEREAS, the pueo was revered by Hawaiians, and was an aumakua or ancestral guardian of many Hawaiian families, and an encounter with the pueo was considered to be an omen; and

 

WHEREAS, in Hawaiian mythology, the pueo is the "bird of wisdom," known for offering guidance and protection; and

 

WHEREAS, in the late 1800s, pueo once flew in great numbers on Oahu, but today, according to The Pueo Project, a study by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the number of pueo on Oahu has declined to an estimated eight hundred seven individual birds; and

 

WHEREAS, pueo nest on the ground, in grassy areas, laying three to six eggs over a few months; and

 

WHEREAS, pueo eggs and young pueo are vulnerable to feral cats, dogs, rats, and mongooses; and

 

WHEREAS, in addition to being vulnerable to many predators, loss of habitat has contributed to the reduction in the pueo population; and

 

WHEREAS, Chapter 13-124, Exhibit 2, Hawaii Administrative Rules, lists the pueo on Oahu as endangered; and

 

WHEREAS, protections for the pueo under state law and administrative rule are limited to prohibiting persons from exporting, possessing, processing, selling, offering for sale, delivering, carrying, transporting, or shipping, harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting pueo and removing, damaging, or disturbing the nests of pueo; and

 

WHEREAS, without federal protection, the Oahu pueo will be at risk of extinction; and

 

WHEREAS, protections provided under the Endangered Species Act can help the pueo population increase to a healthy and sustainable level; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to petition the United States Secretary of the Interior, through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to protect the Oahu pueo, also known as the Hawaiian short-eared owl (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) as a threatened or endangered species; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Program Manager of the Endangered Species Recovery Committee.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Pueo; Hawaiian short-eared owl; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Endangered