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!

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

The HWC’s First Patient

Even though HWC President and Center Director Linda Elliott and Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager Judi Ellal have been providing professional wildlife care for over a decade, this particular bird will definitely be one that we’ll always remember!

For more media coverage of the HWC’s first release, check out the article by Hawai‘i 24/7!


Moving from Construction to Operations: Reflections on a Journey

With wildlife care already underway and our programs beginning to develop and expand, it is important to reflect on where we came from and the journey that has led to where we are today. As we soar from a construction project to a fully operational organization, we want to acknowledge and celebrate all of our founding donors who have stuck by us from the very beginning. We are excited to welcome our founding donors to the HWC Donor Wall, where they will become a permanent part of the building and organization they helped create. The Donor Wall is currently being developed and will hopefully be installed soon.

HWC President, Center Director and Founder Linda Elliott has done an amazing job of turning her passion and expertise into an organization that serves the wonderfully unique native wildlife we have in our islands. Since the HWC Grand Opening, she has expanded the HWC staff to include equally passionate, professional and experienced individuals and we’re all re ready to hit the ground running to save our native animals. So what’s next? Now that animal care has begun, project Ho‘opūlama is now a top priority. Ho‘opūlama, the development of our public space, means “to cherish” or “to save” and will feature interactive exhibits and displays that will become the heart of the HWC. If you have visited us in the past, you have probably noticed that our education pavilion and visitor’s lanai was empty. It will hopefully not be that way for very much longer!

To all our supporters, we are truly appreciative of everything you have put forth to help create Hawai‘i’s first and only state-of-the-art rescue, rehabilitation, research and education facility exclusively for and about native animals. It has been a fulfilling journey to where we are now, but we are nowhere near done. Mahalo to everyone and we hope you will stay close to us as we continue to grow!

HWC Through the Years


Wildlife Care Begins at HWC!

After years of planning, design, development and construction, the HWC is proud to announce that wildlife intake has officially begun at our brand-new, state-of-the-art native wildlife treatment facility.  Our first patient is a young Red-footed Booby from Kaua‘i and getting it to the HWC facility was a great collaborative effort between DOFAW Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i and Honolulu district offices, Kaua‘i Humane Society Save our Shearwaters Program, Hawaiian Airlines, Department of Agriculture and HWC staff.  Not only does this bird represent a great step forward for native wildlife care, it also sets the stage for further collaborations that will benefit native Hawaiian wildlife.  A special thanks to Tracy Anderson, Marilou Knight, Bongo Lee, Scott Fretz, Thomas Kaiakapu, and Dr. Joanne Woltman. If you would like to donate towards the care of sick and injured native birds like this youngster, please click on “Your Support” in the sidebar!

This is a huge milestone for HWC and your support was a big part in helping us get here.  We really appreciate all the donations, words of encouragement, love and support that poured in since this project started in 2004.  We are making a big difference together and we hope you are as excited about what we’re doing for wildlife care and rehabilitation in Hawai‘i as we are!

Update: Our first patient is doing remarkably well and has been moved to the seabird recovery aviary to strengthen its muscles.  Here’s a video of it checking out its new surroundings!