Mauna Kea Forest Preserve

It turns out the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve is not so foresty Р due largely  to introduced hunting stock. The first picture below shows a grove of fir trees that was planted last century with some native trees in the foreground. The landscape shown nthe second photo is all too typical.
Mauna kea fp 1

Mauna kea fp 2

The Mamane tree – critical habitat for endemic birds and where we found the endangered Palila.
Mauna kea fp 3

Amakihi
amikihi

The Palila – not a great photo but a very rare bird.
palila

Pu’u O’o Trail

The Pu’u O’o trail runs from the Saddle Road off to the kipuka (forest surrounded by lava) seen off in the distance of the first photo.

The kipuka are home to I’iwi, Apapane, Amakihi, Omao, ‘Elepaio, and the rare Akiapola’au.
saddle rd (2)

The Ohia tree is a food source for many of the region’s birds.
saddle rd (3)

Aakiapola’au
aki  041

I’iwi
iiwi  040

Saddle Road

The Saddle Road cuts across the middle of the Big Island between the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanos. Much of it is at high altitude (6-7000 ft) and is adjacent to critical habitats for some of Hawaii’s endangered endemic birds.

The introduction of sheep, goats and pig – primarily for hunting – has led to habitat degredation and the endangerment (and extinction) of many bird species which live only in a narrow range of habitat and elevation.

saddle rd (5)

Old cinder cones:
saddle rd (6) saddle rd