September 8, 2014
By LEE IMADA - Managing Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) , The Maui News
|San Diego Zoo Global photo|
Six healthy palila nestlings, a "critically endangered" small native songbird, were bred in captivity at the San Diego Zoo Global's Maui Bird Conservation Center in the first full breeding season at the Olinda facility.
The oldest chicks are under 2 months old, but they all have passed the danger stage, according to Christina Simmons, public relations manager for San Diego Zoo Global. The center's goal is to bring species back from the brink of extinction.
"We have every confidence that they will grow into adulthood," she said in a phone interview Tuesday.
There are less than 1,000 palila left in the wild, said Bryce Masuda, San Diego Zoo Global program manager. Their lone habitat is the mamane and naio forests between 6,500 and 9,500 feet in elevation on the slopes of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources website said.