The Palila is a pretty species of Hawaiian honeycreeper. Like many others in this family, the Palila is considered to be Critically Endangered. Among the threats it faces is habitat loss from deforestation.
The Palila is a Hawaiian endemic, found only on the big island of Hawaii. They are found in forest habitat at an elevation between 2,000 and 3,000 meters.
The Palila is dependent on the Mamane tree, which is a major source for both food and nesting sites. These special finches have highly adpated beaks to feed on the seed pods of the mamane tree. They also eat flowers, leaves, buds, nectar, and other material from the trees, in addition to feeding on insects that also live in the trees.
From IUCN Red List: The Palila is listed as Critically Endangered
on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has is listed as Critically Endangered because it has suffered extremely rapid annual population declines since 2003. The primary short-term driver of the decline is prolonged drought, which has reduced mamane pod production, but other contributing factors include habitat degradation by introduced ungulates, predation by introduced cats, and competition for caterpillar food from introduced parasitoid wasps.
Today our 2018 Bonanza continues with a Hawaiian species of honeycreeper: the Palila!
Many species of Hawaiian honeycreeper are endangered or face threats, and the Palila is no different, unfortunately. The Palila is ... more