The nesting nēnē family that prompted closure of Hosmer Grove in Haleakalā National Park lost its young gosling. The Hosmer Grove area closed on Friday when the nēnē family was first observed. The campground, road, and trail re-opened on Saturday. The young bird was found dead on Saturday, before resource managers were able to move the family to a safer location. A necropsy will be performed to determine why the gosling died.
This gosling was less than two weeks old. The first few weeks of life are difficult on young birds at the Summit due to storms, cold temperatures, and access to food and water sources.
Throughout Hawaii, these ground-nesting birds are preyed upon by rats, mongooses, feral cats, or feral dogs. Non- native goats and deer eat the same vegetation the birds depend upon.
“There are many factors that affect the survival of nēnē,” said park chief of interpretation Polly Angelakis. “One controllable, human factor is driving carefully through nēnē habitat. Observing from a distance and giving the birds plenty of space is another. Reporting any mammals visitors see in the park will also help.”