Once on the edge of extinction, with only 50 birds remaining in the wild, it is now possible for Hawai‘i visitors and residents to see nēnē in the wild across Kaua‘i and the state, thanks to conservation efforts, including captive breeding, that have worked to preserve these birds and re-establish them in their native habitat, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The nēnē, or Hawaiian goose, was officially designated Hawai‘i’s state bird on May 7, 1957. In 2003, Sept. 26 was officially designated Nēnē Awareness Day by Gov. Linda Lingle.
Kaua‘i is celebrating Nēnē Awareness Day with events hosted by the DLNR/Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the Kaua‘i Nēnē Habitat Conservation Plan on Sept. 24-26.
On Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Hanalei Community Center, the public will be able to learn about what makes our state bird the world’s rarest goose, during the “Discover the Nēnē” presentation from 2 to 3 p.m.
There will also be a “nēnē information table” at the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Monday, Sept. 26 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The DLNR is asking residents to help to protect Hawai‘i’s native birds everyday by keeping pets indoors, on leash, in a kennel or in a fenced yard. Also, help to keep nēnē wild by keeping distance and never feeding them. Please observe speed limits and slow down for nēnē and their families.
To report an injured or dead bird, please call the DLNR DOFAW Kaua‘i office at (808) 274-3433.