UPDATED 3:49 PM HST May 22, 2014
HONOLULU —The Nihoa Millerbird, an endangered terrestrial bird species living exclusively within Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, has been given a Hawaiian name.
Developed by the national monument's Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group, the name reflects Hawaiian cultural perspectives of this bird as well as its characteristics and behaviors.
"Developing new Hawaiian names for species in Papahanaumokuakea that have either lost or never had a Hawaiian name is an important step towards honoring Hawaiian traditions and maintaining a living culture here in our islands," says Kekuewa Kikiloi, Assistant Professor at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i - Manoa and chairman of the PMNM Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group.
Hawaiian names were given to the Nihoa Millerbird, or ululu, as well as the new population of Nihoa Millerbirds established on Laysan Island -- ululu niau.
"These new names help to connect these life forms to the genealogy of Hawai'i. As best as possible, we try to ensure that these names are consistent with the Hawaiian world view and traditional ecological knowledge of our homeland," says Kikiloi.