Volunteering at HWC

Living808 visited HWC as part of Hawaii Island Week at KHON2.
For the full story, visit http://khon2.com/2016/04/28/hawaii-island-week-hawaii-wildlife-center-2/

Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page for more information about our volunteer program and to download a volunteer application form!

Mahalo Trini and the KHON crew!

HWC on Kohala Radio

The Hawai‘i Wildlife Center was on KNKR 96.1 Kohala Radio today, July 28 on the Your Kohala Connections Show! We had the pleasure of chatting with Forrest at HWC and introducing our patients, programs and upcoming projects to him and his listeners.

In case you missed it (or want to listen in again!), here is the HWC interview featuring our very own Danette Hartrick, Linda Elliott and Rae Okawa.

PSA 2/26/15: Reward Offered in Io Shooting


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting of an endangered juvenile female Hawaiian Hawk (photo attached). The injured Hawk was seen on the ground during the latter half of January 2015 in the area of Kalanikoa Road, ‘I’iwi Road, Haunani Road and Kilauea Road.

Concerned citizens appropriately rescued the hawk and transported it to the Hawai`i Wildlife Center in Kohala where the dedicated staff are providing needed medical care. However, the Hawk will never fly again.

Killing or injuring wildlife protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act is a serious offense and is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $100,000, one year in jail, or both.

Please call 808-933-6964 to provide information confidentially.

Individuals who provide key information resulting in a conviction of those involved may be considered to receive a reward.

Hawaiian Hawk Patient 15-004

Operation Laysan Duck a Huge Success!


The Hawaii Wildlife Center travels to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as part of a partnership to return critically endangered Laysan Ducks to Kure Atoll

Laysan DuckKapaau, HI – September 10, 2014: 

The Hawaii Wildlife Center was a part of a collaborative effort to translocate critically endangered Laysan Ducks from Midway Atoll to Kure Atoll at the the top of the Hawaiian Archipelago. This is a project that had been outlined in the Laysan Duck’s species recovery plan and has been implemented now in part due to the high number of mortalities recorded last year at Midway Atoll from avian botulism. Although once found throughout the Hawaiian island chain, Laysan Ducks faced rapidly declining numbers due to introduced predators and vegetation loss. As a result, there has been a significant amount of habitat work done on Kure, including the removal of pest plant species and predators, in order to prepare the atoll to welcome back these remarkable birds.

In late August and early September, Hawaii Wildlife Center founder, President and Center Director Linda Elliott joined representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Kure Atoll Conservancy, and the U.S. Coast Guard to bring 28 Laysan Ducks to Kure Atoll from Midway Atoll. Ms. Elliott was a part of the team responsible for the care and husbandry of the ducks during this project. Responsibilities included health exams, nutritional support, hydration, and extra biocontrols to protect the rehabilitated habitat on Kure. Also supporting the duck care on Midway and Kure was Patagonia Hawaii, who generously donated gear to HWC for the project, as well as the Honolulu Zoo, who donated the mealworms fed to the ducks in care.

Linda with Laysan Duck

[Photo] Ms. Elliott prepares a Laysan Duck for release on Kure Atoll

The Laysan Duck is the rarest duck in the Northern Hemisphere and has the smallest geographic range of any duck species in the world. Laysan Duck numbers dropped to just 12 individuals on Laysan Island in 1912 due to predators, pest species and natural disasters. The population grew slowly on Laysan, and in 2004 and 2005 the Laysan Duck was brought back to Midway from Laysan. In 2008, the Midway population was hit hard with an outbreak of avian botulism and HWC’s Linda Elliott was brought in to handle the response. Midway has since used the protocols that Ms. Elliott helped develop to provide response to additional affected ducks on the island. This project to bring them back to Kure is another step in the population rebuilding process and provides additional protection from extinction. The Laysan Duck population now exists on three islands.


Papahanaumokuakea Press Release with additional information about the project:

Photos from the translocation project:

Videos from the translocation project:


Hawaii News Now
KITV (Article, video and slideshow)
KITV (Video)
West Hawaii Today
Hawaii 24/7

2013 Impact Summary

This year marked the one-year anniversary of operations at the Hawaii Wildlife Center!  Thanks to the vital support of many donors like you and the dedicated sponsorship of our grantors, we have made remarkable strides forward in our programs this first year of operations, including our wildlife services, training programs, and research and educational partnerships.

Wildlife Services

On the wildlife services side, we have begun to set the standard for exceptional wildlife care, focusing on providing a quality, professional and science-based rehabilitation program that meets and exceeds national standards. There was no facility or organization that had met minimum standards before HWC in the Pacific Islands region, so this has been vital to the availability of care for sick or injured native birds and bats. Being a statewide resource, we have received wildlife in need of care from all main Hawaiian Islands and have expanded the number of heroic volunteer pilots in our air transport program to accommodate the increasing calls for response to sick and injured wildlife on neighbor islands. Our expertise and consultation services have also been utilized by the Pacific Islands, including Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan and American Samoa.

We have had 16 different species come through the Center this year, 5 of which were endangered, from all main Hawaiian Islands. The cases we saw were varied and ranged from animal attacks, impact injuries, car casualties, seabird fallout, or orphaned young chicks. We also fielded many wildlife response calls that came from throughout the State and worked with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife to facilitate the proper response. We have also been under heavy demand for wildlife response and conservation programs.

Programs serving the Hawaiian Archipelago included:

  • Led 5-island (Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Hawaii) avian botulism preparedness program with approximate 150 attendees (30 per island)
  • Assisted (and continue to assist) the Save our Shearwaters program on Kauai with wildlife response
  • Gave a seabird response protocol presentation to Pulama Lanai
  • Provided consultation to Midway for care and rehabilitation of White Terns
  • Led a wildlife oil spill response training for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Programs serving the Pacific Islands included:

  • Taught a wildlife rehabilitation training course with biologists from American Samoa.
  • Assisted Rota (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) in response to a seabird die-off. Provided ongoing consultation and shipped response supplies.
  • Assisted (and continue to assist) Saipan with seabird rehabilitation
  • Provided consultation to Palmyra for care of wildlife

Research and Education

On the research and education front, we have expanded our collaboration with multiple research projects involving native species, many of which are focused on seabirds. We have also continued our partnership with the Kohala Middle School and have accommodated other school programs when staff availability allowed. We are now in the process of developing a master plan for our public area (courtyard, education pavilion, native garden and lawn), which will include interpretive and interactive exhibits highlighting the work at the Center and Hawaii’s native species. Once the exhibits are complete, we will be able to accommodating the rapidly growing demand for field trips from school groups.

Research projects we are currently assisting include:

  • Endangered seabird genetics (Smithsonian)
  • Plastics in seabirds (Hawaii Pacific University)
  • Rodenticide toxicology study (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Biomonitoring of environmental contaminants in Pacific seabirds and other marine organisms (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Our education programs this year included:

  • Guest presentation to the University of Hawaii (UH) Hilo Marine Options Program
  • Participation in the first annual Conservation Career Day at UH Hilo
  • Participation in career day at Kohala Middle School
  • Collaboration with Kohala Middle School Hale Ike for service project
  • Led educational field trip for a class of approximately 20 students from Holualoa Elementary
  • Created educational display at the Thelma Parker Memorial Public Library in Waimea
  • Participated in community events including Earth Day in Kona, Kamehameha Day in Kohala, Science Alive! at Bishop Museum and Palila Palooza at Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Volunteer Program and Professional Partnerships

Our volunteer program has also continued to grow. We have about 40 active volunteers currently and the number of volunteer applications has been increasing as we step up our recruitment. Our volunteer air and ground transport program (known as the Wings and Wheels for Wildlife) has continued to develop as well. In response, we have formalized our volunteer program, including specialized volunteer trainings and schedules when necessary.

Our conference attendance and working group participation has continued to increase as well. The HWC continues to participate in the Hawaii Conservation Conference, with over 1,000 attendees, and continues to be active in response planning with the Hawaii Area Committee. The HWC was also recently invited to present at the first annual Big Island Conservation Forum, speaking to a group of over 200 individuals in conservation on Hawaii Island. In addition, President and Center Director Linda Elliott has just participated in and was a presenter at the Wetlands & Waterbird Workshop on Oahu. Articles written by HWC were also published in the Pacific Seabird Group journal and Elepaio, the journal of the Hawaii Audubon Society. Our native garden at the Center was certified as wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and an article about the HWC was included in the latest issue of the National Wildlife Federation Magazine as well.

Visitor Stats

We also saw our public impact and visitor statistics continue to soar. This year to date, we have had nearly 1,000 visitors to our facility, have given over 200 tours and answered well over 2,000 questions about native wildlife, wildlife response and our work at the Center. Visitors came from all over and ranged from local residents to national and international visitors.

In Summary…

Overall, we have definitely been busy this past year! The HWC has elevated the standards of wildlife care in Hawaii and our qualifications, experience and professional reputation has allowed us to connect with many individuals, groups and companies interested in our services and impressed by our reach and impact. We couldn’t have done it all without the support of our ‘ohana; the donors, volunteers, partners, and supporters that give us the momentum we need to keep moving forward. Next year holds even more exciting things and we need your help to keep the progress going. Please celebrate all that we have accomplished so far and support us in 2014 by making a gift today! Click here to donate.

Mahalo nui everyone! Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

The Story of HWC’s First ‘Io Chick

Many of you already know about our new patient, a little ‘Io (Hawaiian Hawk) chick admitted to the Center on November 14.

The ‘Io was found in Wainaku and reported by a resident to a member of the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). The resident found the chick down on the ground and waited for parents to return. When the parents were not seen and it started to rain, DOFAW was called in to help.

Once it was in DOFAW’s care, HWC staff worked with a DOFAW staff member to attempt to return the chick to its parents. The chick was brought back to the area it was found and was monitored to see if the parents returned. Unfortunately there were no easily accessible perching spots to get the little ‘Io off the ground and it was reported that a minimum of five cats were patrolling the area, posing an immediate threat to the young bird. Although the optimal goal was to reunite the chick with its parents, high risks and the fact that the young ‘Io was underweight led to the collaborative decision to bring it to the Center.

Io wrapped up

The little ‘Io chick brought to HWC

After some time to rest, the ‘Io was given a complete intake exam by HWC staff. It was feisty, as it should be, and was provided a much-needed meal. The ‘Io was given the name Keawe in honor of local musician and longtime HWC supporter John Keawe. Keawe is the name of a southern star, said to be named for an ancient chief.

mealtime for Io

Keawe deciding if it wants to go for more. Its crop is already getting full!

The ‘Io is an endangered species, the only hawk in Hawai‘i and only found on Hawai‘i Island. Not only is Keawe being given a second chance at life, his care is also giving us an important opportunity to protect the population of these birds.

Since he came to us as a young chick, Keawe will require many months of feeding and behavioral enhancement to prepare it for adulthood and release back into the wild. If you would like to give a gift to support its care, please join the Keawe Care ‘ohana. To join the Keawe Care ‘ohana, simply donate a minimum of $25 online via PayPal, click “Add” next to Gift Options (under shipping address) and type “Keawe Care” in the message box. If you would like to donate with a check, please download our donation form and include a note that you’d like to be included in the Keawe Care ‘ohana (please note the $25 minimum also applies). Keawe Care ‘ohana members will receive a special photo of Keawe at the Center and a certificate acknowledging your contribution.

We’ll keep you posted on his progress!

HWC Featured in National Case Study

We are excited to announce that the HWC was featured in a national case study highlighting pro bono services. Our WHOLE design team for the HWC facility worked pro bono… we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!

Click the cover image or link below to read the publication.

HWC Case Study cover

‘Auku‘u Release, May 15, 2013

HWC Special on KITV News

Hawai‘i Wildlife Center Helping Injured Native Birds Fly

North Kohala Fire Department Visit

On Wednesday, March 20th the North Kohala Fire Department came down to tour our facility. They gave us some tips on fire extinguishers and answered questions about safety and emergency procedures. It was especially fun learning fire extinguisher 101, PASS (pull, aim, squeeze and sweep).

 We were thrilled to have them visit and appreciate their support. Mahalo to Captain Jeffrey Kahakua and his crew, Joseph Crable, Kyle Toma and Mike Judd.