HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

81

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

Recognizing August 8, 2023, as Hawaiian Honeycreepers Celebration Day.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, Hawaii is experiencing a bird extinction crisis, with ninety-five of its one hundred forty-two endemic manu (bird) species having become extinct and the remaining forty-seven species facing critical threats; and

 

WHEREAS, of the more than fifty species of honeycreepers endemic to Hawaii, only seventeen species remain, and twelve of those are designated--by the federal or state government--as critically endangered or threatened; and

 

WHEREAS, the threats to the remaining manu species, particularly honeycreepers, include loss of their feeding and nesting habitat; degradation of that habitat by invasive plants, insects, and even diseases such as Rapid Ōhia Death; direct predation by invasive rats, cats, and mongoose; and deadly diseases spread by mosquitoes, particularly avian malaria; and

 

WHEREAS, since the introduction to Hawaii of mosquitoes in 1826 and mosquito-spread diseases, such as avian malaria and pox, in the 1900s, the range of Hawaiian honeycreepers has largely shrunk to high-elevation cool forests, such as the Alakai Plateau on Kauai, Haleakalā on Maui, and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island; and

 

WHEREAS, the gradual warming of Hawaii's climate is enabling mosquitoes to move into the remaining disease-free, higher-elevation refuges; and

 

WHEREAS, for most honeycreepers, one bite from a mosquito carrying avian malaria can result in death, and it is estimated that many Hawaiian honeycreepers will become extinct within the next ten years if mosquito populations are not controlled, predators are not better managed, and ongoing conservation efforts are not continued; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian honeycreepers, like all native manu species, are integral to the State's ecosystems and culture, and the once intimate pilina (relationships and connections) between communities and manu have been diminished due to their disappearance from the landscape; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaiian honeycreepers, like all the manu species, function as pollinators, nutrient cyclers, seed dispersers, and pest managers, keeping the forests of Hawaii healthy and ensuring that the forests can function like a sponge to draw in, filter, and retain wai (water); and

 

WHEREAS, Kānaka Maoli foster reciprocal relationships with the native manu of Hawaii and respect them as messengers between the akua (gods; elements in nature) and kānaka; and

 

WHEREAS, these relationships are captured within cultural knowledge, including moolelo (stories), ōlelo noeau (proverbs), kaao (legends), and mele (songs); and

 

WHEREAS, feathers from honeycreepers played an integral role in ancient Hawaii, where they were used in an artform of global excellence to adorn alii with symbols of their power and authority; and

 

WHEREAS, community awareness and support are essential to the success of the actions needed to mālama Hawaii's native manu, particularly honeycreepers; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, the Senate concurring, that this body recognizes August 8, 2023, as Hawaiian Honeycreepers Celebration Day throughout the State; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the people, organizations, and government of Hawaii are encouraged to observe Hawaiian Honeycreepers Celebration Day with appropriate activities and ceremonies to deepen the pilina with the native manu and to strengthen support for conservation efforts to restore the native birds of Hawaii to abundance; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; mayor of each county; each member of Hawaii's Congressional delegation; Regional Director for Parks in the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service; Regional Director of the United States Geological Survey, Northwest/Pacific Islands; Field Supervisor for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office; Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Director of Health; Chairperson of the Board of Regents and President of the University of Hawaii; co-chairs of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council; head of Birds, Not Mosquitoes; Hawaii State Director of The Nature Conservancy - Hawaii and Palmyra; Hawaii Program Director of the American Bird Conservancy; Chief Executive Officer of Island Conservation; Project Coordinator of the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species; Research & Management Project Coordinator of the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project; Project Leader of the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project; and Chairperson of the Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Hawaiian Honeycreepers Celebration Day