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Hawaii to receive more than $1.7M in federal funding to protect native birds, bees

More than $1.7 million in additional federal funding will be awarded to Hawaii to help protect native forest birds, waterbirds, seabirds, and yellow-faced bees, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Schatz said the additional funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would go to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to support conservation projects on Hawaii island, Kauai, Maui and Oahu.

“Our native bird and bee populations are in danger due to shrinking habitats, disease-carrying mosquitoes, and expanding predator populations,” said Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a news release. “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 Hawaii.”

The federal funding comes through the Competitive State Wildlife Grant Program.

Schatz said the total funding includes:

>> $587,337 to protect and monitor endangered seabirds and ecosystems on Hawaii island.

>>$498,558 to combat the threat of avian malaria and protect Hawaiian forest birds on Kauai and Maui.

>> $249,477 to conserve the habitat and resources of yellow-faced bees on Maui

>>$219,258 to support enhanced mongoose control techniques that will protect Hawaiian waterbirds on Oahu.

>> $169,068 to establish a protected breeding colony for the endangered akekee on Maui.

Last month, Hawaii also received $14 million in federal funding to save Hawaii’s imperiled honeycreepers, including the akikiki on Kauai and the kiwikiu on Maui, mostly by further combating avian malaria, a deadly disease transmitted by mosquitoes.