Each year, CCH commissions a work of art from Patrick Ching, from which we make educational print posters for distribution to school classrooms across the state. This year, we auction the original painting - unveiled at the Annual Meeting October 17th!
Artist Patrick Ching Unveils Original Work of Art - unveiling video from Conservation Council for Hawaii is at https://vimeo.com/469341518
Hauola Canyon is the deepest drainage on the island of Lānaʻi. Starting in the ʻuluhe fern-covered ridge of Lānaʻi Hale, it flows out to the north east side of the island toward the ʻAuʻau Channel between Lānaʻi and Maui. The upper reaches of Hauola Canyon are home to endangered species, including ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian petrel), kāhuli (native tree snails – two species of which are endemic to Lānaʻi, including Partulina variabilis, pictured in the painting), Lānaʻi hala pepe (Chrysodracon fernaldii, also a Lānaʻi endemic species pictured in the painting), and other extremely rare plants. Further down the canyon, endangered ʻakeʻake (band-rumped storm-petrels) have been discovered nesting in large numbers in the nearly 1,200 ft cliff walls. ʻAʻo (Newellʻs shearwater) have been heard flying over the canyon, and likely used to nest in the area. Out at the coast, ʻakekeke (ruddy turnstone) and other migratory shorebirds, forage along the beaches at the mouth of the Hauola watershed during their winter visits to Hawaiʻi.
ʻUaʻu are endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands, and were once abundant and widely distributed across Hawaiʻi. ʻUaʻu bones have been found in vast numbers at numerous archaeological sites throughout the Hawaiian Islands, including locations like the Ewa Plain on Oʻahu (which is now a suburb of Honolulu) and Mākaʻuwahi Cave in Kauaʻi. As is the case with other seabirds, the combination of introduced predators (such as cats, mongoose, rats and pigs), habitat loss, and human disturbance have dramatically reduced the population and range of these birds.
The ʻakeʻake breeds on islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Atlantic populations are found in the Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde, Berlengas, St. Helena, and Ascension Island, while Pacific populations are found in the Galapagos Islands, Japan, and the Hawaiian Islands. The at sea distribution of ʻakeʻake in the Pacific Ocean is largely unknown, but birds have been seen 600 miles north of Hawaiʻi, 1000 miles south of Hawaiʻi, and between Japan and Hawaiʻi. ʻAkeʻake in the Atlantic are known to travel immense distances, so it is possible that any of these records could pertain to Hawaiian birds. Other than these records, ʻakeʻake are only known at sea in the immediate vicinity of the Southeastern Hawaiian Islands.
Once numerous, the ʻaʻo (Newell’s shearwater) was thought to be extinct by the early 1900s. Then, in 1947 a bird was sighted off of Kauaʻi and in 1967 a colony was discovered on the island. The most recent population estimate of this endangered seabird is 19,000 breeding pairs, but this was based on at-sea surveys from 1980-1994. Between 1993 and 2013, radar studies conducted by the Kauaʻi Endangered Seabird Recovery Project and Cooper & Day, revealed that the species suffered a catastrophic population decline of 94% (Raine et al 2017), meaning that the breeding population of ʻaʻo is now a shadow of what it was in the 1980s and early 1990s.