I am going heart crazy with this "Ke Aloha Nukupu'u"! Bear with me everyone, I'm preparing a series of heart-kissing bird paintings...
Nukupu'u are listed as critically endangered, but researchers conclude that they are probably extinct or functionally extinct (unable to produce more babies with such low numbers, etc). The last recorded sighting was in the 1990's, but Maui and Kauai conservationists have started programs to essentially quarantine off certain forested areas for endangered native species. The volunteers have removed bunches of invasive species from the designated areas in hopes that native species will be able to bring their numbers back up. Most native birds are somewhere on the endangered list due to the introduction of foreign species in Hawaii, habitat destruction and disease-carrying mosquitoes. It is such a shame that these beautiful and unusual birds will possibly never be seen in the wild again. For more information on helping the conservation of Hawaiian bird species, check out: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/oceansandislands/hawaii.html
If you would like to help out with donations, check out:
make sure to scroll down to "Bird Conservation In Hawaii" on the "I wish my donatation to support:" line.
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.